Sunday night was debate night as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump faced off for the second presidential election debate, this time in St. Louis.
Here is how I scored it
DONALD TRUMP: F
Trump’s campaign is now, “Vote for me so I can throw my political opponent in jail.”
That is some Nixon-level shit right there and is an automatic F in my book.
In fact, that was one of the reasons why Nixon was nearly impeached. One of the articles of impeachment against Nixon was going to be using the nation’s law enforcement to go after the political opposition.
Trump's pledge to jail Clinton - which Pence just defended today - was literally one of the articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon: pic.twitter.com/CjTbC8OHGz— Ari Melber (@AriMelber) October 10, 2016
That must disqualify anyone from occupying the White House at all.
Trump also complained about the moderators prior and during the debate. Look Donald, we know that you are substituting reality for your own, but this is a general electorate that you are facing.
Seeing a black person does not automatically mean they are living in the inner city. He did not answer a Muslim woman’s question when she asked how he would combat the rising Islamophobia in our country. And bringing up Bill Clinton’s indiscretions to attack Hillary Clinton is way out of line because Trump is not running against Bill and he has a well-publicized history of infidelity.
Also, you might want to have a talk with your running mate about your foreign policy. It seems that you two are not in synch. Governor Pence, you might want to ask Donald Trump about his Russian connections in part due to this Newsweek story that recently came out.
HILLARY CLINTON: A
She was poised and confident in her answers. She connected with the crowd. Mrs. Clinton was not taken aback when Trump called her “The Devil” to her face or made the threat that he would appoint a special prosecutor with the sole purpose to throw her in jail.
Trump tried to used her years of public service against her. Instead she listed the accomplishments and was damn proud of them too.
The final question was about which quality do you admire in your opponent. My mother thought it was a bullshit question.
However, I thought it was a good question given how toxic this general campaign has become. I don’t recall Obama attacking Romney for being a Mormon during any of their debates. Back when he had some honor, a woman confronted Senator McCain by saying she didn’t like Obama because he was an Arab. McCain responded with that Obama is a decent family man, citizen that I have disagreements with. Clinton responded with that she admired Trump’s children given that she is mother herself and Chelsea is friends with one of Trump’s daughters.
Trump responded with that he admired her passion and her willingness to never give up which is an advantage to Clinton. Even though in the first debate he questioned her stamina and returned to attacking her fitness for office on the stump despite there are questions about his physical and mental wellbeing for office.
And of course Trump returned to questioning her physical fitness for office after she caught a cold and left the 9/11 Memorial Ceremony needing some assistance to a vehicle in an ad.
ANDERSON COOPER, MARTHA RADDATZ: B
This was neither moderators first debate rodeo. CNN anchor Cooper has moderated several debates for both the Democratic and Republican primaries in previous elections while Raddatz moderated the 2012 vice-presidential debate between Vice-President Joe Biden and now-Speaker Paul Ryan.
Both made sure to fact check when it was necessary and kept the pace of the debate going by regularly informing both candidates that their time was up.
My only complaint is that I wished that they were able to get to more questions, and I also agree that more questions are tailored towards the Millennial generation. This is something moderators should be aware of in the next presidential election when Millennials will make up 40% of the voting eligible population, and it will be the first election when all associated with that generation will be 18 or older.
I also like the format of two moderators and would certainly like the see that in future debates as well as possibly going to two hours for when there are two moderators.
Should Cooper and Raddatz return to moderate a general election debate in 2020? A definitive yes
Overall, the polls confirmed that Clinton won the debate. Not as definitive as the first debate, but it was still a win. Her strategy has been to hold the lead and don’t make any unforced errors while let her opponent make mistakes (and boy has he made several).
Trump is trying to shore up his base of supporters. The problem is that he is not expanding his base and not only do the recent controversies hurt those efforts, but time is almost out. Early voting is happening in several states, and this is where the Clinton ground game will trump Trump.
Clinton’s main campaign strategist Robbie Mook said last week that Clinton could have an “insurmountable lead” on Election Day because of early voting in these three swing states: Florida, North Carolina, and Nevada. Early voting is expected to make up 40% of the total vote in the battlegrounds that allow for early voting. This is the voter bank strategy that the Obama campaign relied on in 2008 and especially in 2012. The voter bank is why Obama only lost two states (Indiana and North Carolina) in his re-election bid.
Again using the Same Since 2000 feature on 270towin.com, Clinton has 242 electoral votes to Trump’s 179. If Clinton has a sizable lead in Florida and maintains it, she will be president. If not, then winning North Carolina as well as likely carrying Virginia, the home state of her running mate, will put her at exactly 270. In addition to winning Virginia, Colorado and New Mexico are in her column so at that point having Nevada would put her over the top. Clinton has more paths to 270 than Trump does.
Much like the vice-presidential debate and this recent presidential debate, nothing has changed the race’s overall trajectory. Clinton is leading in most credible national polls and in several battleground state polls. At this point, the only way Trump can comeback is a series of IFs.
Trump has an outstanding final debate performance
Clinton does terrible in the final debate performance
The Trump campaign has a stronger ground game operation
The few remaining undecided voters swing hard to Trump
There is a massive polling error
With less than a month until Election Day, I cannot see Clinton losing this thing.