Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton dispute during the first presidential debate on Sept. 26.

Second debate leaves students disappointed in candidates for attacking scandals instead of discussing national issues

(Photo used by permission of Creative Commons)
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton dispute during the first presidential debate on Sept. 26.

The second presidential debate aired on Oct. 9. Unlike the first debate, the second was conducted town-hall style, in which audience members ask questions. Three students share their reactions. Freshman Trump supporter Garrett Shonkwiler was unable to view the debate.

Freshman Clinton supporter Héloïse Schep

“This debate was so much about throwing insults and not answering questions.

“I think Hillary won. She had a lot of comebacks and wasn’t reading off a script. She was very informal and answered all the questions. She didn’t interrupt Trump even though he interrupted her.

“I think she took the high road. People will always compare her with Obama and her husband, and I think it’s great that she can get past that. She is not her husband, and she is not responsible for his actions, but it can be hard to stay calm when you are being attacked about something you’re not.

“At the beginning, she was very strong. She pointed out how Trump didn’t apologize about the things he said about women and veterans.

“I felt that Trump never answered any of the questions, but that the crowd was in his favor.

“I would have liked more questions from the audience, but both candidates were talking over the time limit. I thought that was not presidential.

“For the next debate, they should act more presidential instead of trying to tear each other down. They are going to be running a very powerful country and making extremely important decisions, so we need to know what they plan to do.”


Sophomore Trump supporter Blake Lincoln

“I think Trump won this debate although it might have been close.

“I just saw the flash poll on CNN, where Hillary was reported to have won the debate 57 percent to 34 percent. Hillary may have won, but not by 23 percent.

“He beat her on her scandals and policy, and I think he got her on the character hypocrisy with Bill.

“I thought after the tape was released this thing might have been over, but after tonight he is back in this race.

“I think Hillary can’t do anything. She has been doing debates for 16 years running for office, many of them one-on-one debates. She is molded into her own person and can’t change.

“Trump has learned how to debate. He did badly in the first debate, but did much better this time. I would advise him to prepare for more attacks on his fitness and temperament.

“The advice I give to Hillary is the advice I give all the Democrats and the “Never-Trumpers:” this thing isn’t over and this could be a possible 2000 situation with multiple states (the Florida tie in which the Supreme Court had to decide).

“I think multiple states could be too close to call and the country could be so divided that no one trusts the results.

“Trump has a very plausible path to victory, and he really is the Brexit vote in the U.S. this year. No one thought that could happen, and then it did. Don’t get complacent.”


Senior Clinton supporter Alexa Mathisen

“I thought that debate was a disgrace. Everything I love about politics was gone. It was as if policies and plans didn’t matter. They were just fighting over scandals that happened and whether or not they were true.

“I do think Hillary won, simply because she stayed composed and stated more facts. I thought Hillary did much better than last time in staying composed, not interrupting and trying to bring Trump back to the questions and policies at hand.

“I thought the moderators did an excellent job stressing that they were there to answer the people’s questions and not spout off whatever they wanted to say to argue with each other.

“I wish they had discussed their actual plans regarding health care more. They just argued over how effective the affordable care act is and how they would change it, without ever saying how they would change it.

“I think that Trump has lost supporters in the last few days because of his comments regarding women. However, by bringing up Bill Clinton’s issues, I believe he has tricked some of his supporters into thinking it was not nearly as bad as what he did, despite the fact that Bill isn’t even running for president!

“I think people can be fooled by how much applause Trump received.

“For the next debate, I hope for actual policies. I want to cut all the conversations about scandals. I’m done with the emails and the tax returns and all that.

“I want to hear what both of them are actually planning to do in office. I want them to realize that this whole joke of an election is almost over, and it is time to be truthful about what their plans are for the future.

“Come January, these scandals won’t matter, and this won’t be one big joke. One of them will be in charge of America, arguably the most influential country in the world.”

By Nicole Wolkov

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