Who won Sunday night's presidential debate? Did either candidate come out the clear victor? What issues haven't gotten enough attention during this campaign? Let us know what you think.
The ugliness of this campaign was on full display during last night’s debate, and there is widespread agreement from commenters on seattletimes.com, social media and the press that all Americans lost.
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Partisans are always going to proclaim their candidate the victor. The press takes more of a dispassionate approach. Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post has a good wrap-up of winners and losers. He gave the debate to Clinton and co-moderator Martha Raddatz. And Nate Silver at Fivethirtyeight explains why Trump won’t get much help from this debate.
The nastiness of the debate was manifested in the comments section of news stories. There were a handful of thoughtful comments, mostly around Donald Trump’s pledge that if he wins the election he would have a special prosecutor investigate Hillary Clinton and have her jailed.
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OldTimer wrote: “A threat to use the power of the Presidency to prosecute a political opponent was actually used by the Republican candidate last night. This misuse of power is not uncommon throughout the world, but the rule of law used by professional prosecutors and police had previously prevented even a threat of politically motivated prosecution in the United States. But no longer; Trump has threatened to use his Presidential power in a way that flies in the face of free speech and our system of sane of political debate. And his supporters cheer. … This is a chilling scenario that was actually brought to you by the Republican Party of Trump. America is better than that.”
2Hot2Handle was encouraged by Trump’s desire to prosecute Clinton. “Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch and Jim Comey should all be put in prison. They want to hide behind the law when it suits them. They created anarchy in this country by failing to arrest Hillary. They should not be surprised when things spiral out of control in the months ahead.”
The overwhelming sentiment was that the American people are the losers because of this campaign. user1045036 captured this feeling, writing, “These debates have turned into soap opera fodder. Haven’t really found out where they stand on real issues cause they’re too busy throwing insults and barbs at each other.”
The press had the same feeling. New York Times television critic James Poniewozik wrote that the campaign was in a tailspin before the debate. “… People have said before that this election has hit rock bottom. This weekend, it climbed inside a steam drill, bored through the rock and headed straight for the center of the earth.”
Trump supporters came out in force on The Seattle Times’ Facebook page. Donna Dougherty Shaw encapsulated the feeling of many day-after commenters. “Hillary has nothing to run on, no accomplishments. She can do nothing but attack. Trump is running as an agent of change. Trump’s supporters expect to see Trump go after the status quo, not just Hillary, but WA DC Establishment, some of whom made miscalculations over the week-end.”
And then there are the third-party supporters who might not be heard at the polls but made sure they were heard on Facebook. Jordyn Clark summed it up. “Aww it’s like they’re both starting to realize their campaigns are imploding and third party is getting all the support.”
Who do you think won and why? What issues would you like to see get more time during the next debate?