Presidential Debate, Round Three: Who Won, Clinton or Trump?!
The third and, mercifully, last presidential debate of the 2016 election season is in the books after a 90-minute showdown in Las Vegas.
Typically, the final showdown between the candidates would be the least impactful of the three. Not this cycle, which is anything but typical.
The first two debates have been contentious, to say the absolute least, but tonight promised to be even more so in light of recent events.
Late last month, Republican nominee Donald Trump was riding a wave of momentum into the first debate with Democrat Hillary Clinton.
He proceeded to get his ass handed to him over the course of that 90-minute national embarrassment, derailing his surging poll numbers.
In the second debate, on October 9, the businessman was forced to battle not only Clinton, but a tidal wave of sexual harassment allegations.
While he performed marginally better and somewhat exceeded expectations by not literally imploding on stage, his campaign remains in turmoil.
That made both candidates’ strategies tough to handicap tonight.
Clinton, looking like the odds-on favorite at this point, may have been tempted to run out the clock or play prevent defense, so to speak.
The former First Lady is far from out of the woods, however.
Leaked emails, purported WikiLeaks transcripts of previous speeches to banks and myriad other scandals continue to hamper Clinton.
In that respect, she had to not only answer questions about her own past conduct, but close the deal as more than just the anti-Trump.
As for the Donald, all bets were off, as they always are.
Would he continue this scorched-earth tactics he has resorted to in recent weeks after the wheels came off? Or try to be more substantive?
With Chris Wallace, the Emmy-winning anchor of Fox News Sunday, serving as the sole moderator, both candidates were in for a long night.
A forceful and fair interviewer, Wallace was all but guaranteed to take Clinton and Trump to task – and to keep control of the situation.
Six distinct areas of discussion were on tap, such as entitlements and debt, immigration, the Supreme Court, the economy, and foreign policy.
Oh, and most significantly with these two controversial figures – the fitness of each candidate for the highest office in the land, nay, the world.
The burning questions heading into this clash:
Can Clinton’s M.O. of intense preparation and composed, decisive performances continue, and keep her poised to win the White House?
Can Trump throw her off her game, while righting the ship and giving Americans a reason to vote for him, not just against the establishment?
Vote below, and tell us in the comments:
Who won the debate? By how much, and will it matter on November 8? Who should be U.S. president – and who will have that honor?
Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton? Which 2016 presidential hopeful came out on top in the third, and mercifully, last debate of the season? View Poll »