Third Presidential Debate Retrospective

img_4864By Iginio Hernandez

In the aftermath of the election as Donald Trump won the presidency, many moments led up to that victory. One notable was the third presidential debate held in Las Vegas at the University with a viewing event at the College.

A group of spectators met at College of Southern Nevada’s North Las Vegas campus in the June Whitley Student Lounge Oct. 19 in anticipation of an all-out grudge match between Hillary Clinton and Trump. Instead, the debate turned out to arguably be the most mild-mannered political gathering on campus even as the candidates clashed on television.

The event had approximately 75 people on campus, which represented a small portion of viewers that tuned in to watch the final bitterly-contested debate.

The Nielsen Co. ratings soared above 71 million, up five million viewers from the previous debate. While the candidates were unable to top ratings from their initial round Sept. 26, it was one of the final opportunities to connect with the electorate.

33“I was at least glad in this debate that it was a debate,” said Dr. Sondra Cosgrove, a history professor at CSN and president of the League of Women Voters. “Compared to the other two debates where they spent a lot of time attacking each other… this time they tried to address the issue that was posed to them.”

The crowd at CSN, mostly students, remained fairly quiet throughout the entire hour-and-a-half debate however cheers reverberated through the audience when Clinton mentioned making college debt free for families who make less than $125,000 per year.

Beyond their best efforts, Clinton and Trump were unable to deny the urge to occasionally lash out at one another.

Trump held strong on his beliefs in the Second Amendment, strengthening U.S. borders and how to better handle terrorist groups—condemning Clinton and President Barack Obama’s efforts.

Meanwhile, Clinton countered with promoting diversity, fortifying the middle class and accused WikiLeaks of assisting with “Russian espionage.”

She said that a batch of recently-hacked emails was part of a larger plan by Russian President Vladimir Putin to place a “puppet” in the Presidential Office.

“You’re the puppet,” Trump responded.

Although the debate was informative for some, others weren’t swayed to change their votes.

“I do not believe in either one of these candidates,” said audience member Lonnie Richardson, a CSN student. He supported Libertarian Gary Johnson in the election. “He is a perfect middle ground.”

In light of the recent outcome, pundits and pollsters in addition to most American citizens are contemplating what helped Trump win the election.

Michael Flores, director of government affairs and communications at CSN, said, “It’s more about who delivered their message most effectively.” Trump’s messaging certainly packed a punch.

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