Political weekly wrap up: debate edition

The past two weeks marked the first presidential and vice-presidential debates. Between income inequality and cyber warfare, important policy issues of the candidates were finally put head to head.

The first presidential debate between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump was held at Hofstra University in New York.

Topics for the debate included achieving prosperity, America’s direction and securing America, all of which revealed the policies of each candidate. Hillary’s main talking points consisted of new jobs in small business and clean energy, trade with rival countries and reform among police and community relations. The nominee also focused heavily on Trump’s tax returns and temperament, saying “a man who can be provoked by a tweet should not be allowed to have access to the nuclear codes.”

Trump mostly contrasted Clinton, speaking on the unfairness of trade deals with rival countries, the possibility of “stop and frisk” policies and preparing the country on a nuclear level. He also brought up the recurring issue of Clinton’s emails and even criticized her stamina.

The candidates did agree on some issues, however, particularly on race relations and gun rights. Both Trump and Clinton brought up the no fly list, saying that those listed should also not be able to purchase guns. Both also discussed building better relations with police and their communities, specifically communities of race.

The candidates argued on most other issues though, going back and forth multiple times and ignoring moderator Lester Holt. Holt was heavily criticized for his leniency on the candidates, who stepped over their time limits numerously.

Attitudes of the vice-presidential candidates contrasted that of their running mates, however, in the VP debate held last Tuesday at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia. 

Most polls depicted Trump’s running mate Mike Pence as the winner of the debate as the Indiana governor seemed to be more experienced with the format and interrupted his opponent less often than Clinton’s running mate, Tim Kaine. 

However, the debate, moderated by Elaine Quijano, did not consist of thorough answers to questions asked by the moderator, much like the second presidential debate.

The second presidential debate was held at Washington University in St. Louis on Sunday, moderated by Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz.

The main focus for the debate for both candidates seemed to be attacking one another. Trump spent most of his time following this strategy, calling Clinton “the devil” and threatening to have her jailed if he won the presidency.

He also attempted to use Bill Clinton’s personal history as a way to deflect attacks on him after a comment from 2005 was released, in which the Republican nominee claimed that his fame allowed him to grope women.

Trump apologized for his statements, saying “I’m not proud of it. I apologize to my family; I apologize to the American people. Certainly I’m not proud of it, but this was locker room talk.”

However, many believe this apology was not enough, as many high-profile Republicans reeled back their endorsements of Donald Trump, including Senator John McCain.

With less than a month left until election day, the debates will remain to be a factoring element for the campaigns of both candidates.

Poll Update

According to a CNN/ORC Poll taken during Sunday night’s debate, Clinton won the debate 57% to Trump’s 34%. Clinton also leads Trump in all polls from the past week, with a national average of 45% to 35%.



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