Poll: Who Do You Think Won the Second Presidential Debate?

ST. LOUIS — Politics in America changed Sunday night.

The once sacred tradition of a presidential debate — where candidates typically trade barbs over their vision of the country’s future — exploded into something quite chilling.

The Republican nominee seemingly dismissed the significance of the vulgar language he used toward women a decade ago, apologizing for his conduct but repeatedly saying his remarks were just “locker room talk.”

With Hillary Clinton’s husband and daughter watching from the audience, Donald Trump lashed into Bill Clinton’s infidelities, calling him “abusive.” Trump said he would appoint a special prosecutor as president to investigate her — and even threatened that she would be jailed under his administration.

Clinton didn’t take the bait. She repeated First Lady Michelle Obama’s philosophy articulated at the Democratic convention: “When they go low, we go high.”

But Clinton made clear that her trouble with Trump goes beyond the partisan clash typical of a presidential campaign. She said she spent much of the past 48 hours thinking about the video that shows Trump making lewd and sexually aggressive remarks about women. She said that she had differed before with Republicans over policy.

“I never questioned their fitness to serve,” she said. “Donald Trump is different.”

In another unusual twist, Trump slapped down his own running mate, Mike Pence, when the conversation turned to foreign policy. At last week’s vice presidential debate, Pence said the US should be prepared to strike Syrian government targets to alleviate the siege of Aleppo.

“He and I haven’t spoken and I disagree,” Trump said.

That remark could further strain the relationship between Trump and Pence, which was severely tested over the weekend in the aftermath of Trump’s comments on women coming to light.

Pacing the stage

Trump paced the stage for much of the debate, which was moderated by CNN’s Anderson Cooper and ABC’s Martha Raddatz. He frequently interrupted Clinton and had trouble standing still while she spoke, sometimes appearing in her camera shot.

He lost his composure at one point after a fierce exchange with Clinton about her emails, accusing the moderators of not addressing the issue even though Raddatz asked a question about it.

“Nice, one on three” Trump said, insinuating that the moderators were biased against him.

Trump’s performance and willingness to use every single tool at his disposal, from Clinton scandals to outlining his stark vision of a country in crisis, could electrify his loyal base voters. But the question is whether his stern demeanor, prowling stage presence and vow to prosecute Clinton if elected will help him broaden that voting base in a way that would help him catch up to Clinton’s lead in battleground states and in the national picture.

Hours earlier, Trump made a surprise appearance with women who have in the past accused Bill Clinton of inappropriate sexual activity. The women later attended the debate as members of the audience.

During the debate, Trump insisted he had not approached women without their consent but said he was “embarrassed” by the tape. He constantly tried to redivert the conversation even when challenged by CNN’s Anderson Cooper to his plans to “Make America Great Again,” saying he would go hard after ISIS for example.

Clinton said she had been thinking very carefully about the tape.

“Yes, this is who Donald Trump is,” Clinton said. “This is who Donald Trump is but the question our country must answer is this is not who we are.”

 

Trump’s turmoil

The turmoil in Trump’s campaign have tipped the Republican Party into chaos. Dozens of elected Republicans in Washington and state capitals around the country have condemned Trump — and many have called for him to step aside. His own running mate, Mike Pence, said Saturday he can’t defend Trump’s comments.

President Barack Obama joined in the condemnation Sunday, saying the comments suggest Trump “doesn’t care much about the basic values.”

“One of the most disturbing things about this election is just the unbelievable rhetoric coming at the top of the Republican ticket,” Obama said at a campaign event in Chicago for US Senate candidate Tammy Duckworth. “I don’t need to repeat it. There are children in the room.”

Trump went into the debate under intense pressure to deliver a powerful performance that demonstrates regret and remorse for his conduct. Only a top-notch showing will help Trump stem the GOP exodus away from his campaign that kicked into full gear Saturday. The drama unfolding before tens of millions of viewers is be a fresh reminder how the former star of “The Apprentice” has effectively turned American politics in 2016 into one giant reality show revolving around himself and consuming the whole country.

Trump’s attempt to rescue his campaign is all the more complicated since the debate will use a town hall format — a tricky one for novice candidates — and will take place in front of a group of undecided voters, some of whom could have pointed questions about his behavior.

Trump must address female voters in particular, given that there is no path to the White House for him unless he can improve his standing among college educated suburban women in key swing states like Pennsylvania and Colorado.

His task is made even more daunting given that he botched the first debate nearly two weeks ago, crushing all the momentum he built up in September and sending his campaign into a spiral, from which, it has not recovered.

Though there was some discussion of policy issues, including tax policy, all eyes were on how Trump responded to the crisis enveloping his campaign. His attempt to save his White House hopes with a big television moment has few precedents in modern political history.

Ironically, one parallel might involve Clinton herself. The future first lady appeared on “60 Minutes” with her husband in 1992 and turned in a stunning performance to rescue his Democratic primary campaign and political career after he was assailed by allegations of infidelity.

Forty years earlier, Richard Nixon pulled off the same kind of high wire act on television that faces Trump when he was in danger of being thrown off Dwight Eisenhower’s presidential ticket due to a campaign finance scandal. His appearance, which came to be known as the Checkers speech, was good enough for him to be retained as vice presidential nominee and saved his political future.

Trump needs nothing less on Sunday.

 

62 comments

  • Jan Chilton

    When he loses, somebody needs to investigate his sniffing issue. Sounds suspiciously like cocaine to me.
    I can’t believe anybody votes for this blowhard buffoon.

  • Christian

    Trump crushed Clinton from start to end and his proposed policies are sound and exactly what America and the world need. Clinton is a lying, deceiving and murdering criminal.

  • lelani

    I didn’t get much out of Trumps rhetoric…just lots of jabs at his opponent. Woop-de-doo! I think Clinton won because she stuck to the questions and answered them. Trump didn’t do that very much…I think I got one little glimpse of information on his foreign policy. Can’t wait for this election cycle to end…too much hate.

    • cntrlpavtr

      Trump’s entire campaign has been based on rhetoric. His jabs were great for rallying his base (as evidenced by this comment section), but really did nothing for bring more voters to his side. What folks don’t seem to realize is that in order to win an election you need to win votes; meaning a candidate cannot garner enough votes from their party alone. Now there are Republican politicians pulling their support for their nominee and things are not looking good.

  • Jeff Woehrle

    This past year, for the first time in 40 years, more small businesses closed than opened in America.

    That’s the result of “Barack Obama,” and Hillary promises more of the same.

  • Tim Barnes

    With the odds “stacked” against him, a “3 vs.1 event” , Trump STILL threw the punch of the night with the “prison” comment. Too bad he didn’t get a chance to throw in a few more about Benghazi …. But then again, the “FLY” nailed it by picking the garbage out of the pile!…. LOL

    • realitycheck

      called it…

      “The standards set by Donald Trump for debate performance are set so incredibly low, even more so by his supporters. To some folks, Mr. Trump losing his composure and yelling, “you’d be in jail”, means he won the debate.
      Overall, Trump’s debate performance may have given heart to his base supporters, stopping his slide in the polls, but did little to bring new voters into the fold, especially women. Voter preferences are now hardening, and more trouble could lie ahead.” – CNTRLPAVTR

  • Carl

    The real Losers in the debate are the news media by inciting the bickering to improve their ratings.All they do is bring up the dirt. There is no doubt that they are biased against Trump. They are doing the people of this country agreat injustice What are we supposed to do vote for the lesser of two evils.Why not discuss the real problems of this country such as illegal immigration, crime , drugs. and jobs etc.. Hillary supports open borders, global trade. If you ask me she cannot do this country any good. I think she wants to sell it for her own benefit.

    • Jeff Woehrle

      Agree, Carl.

      However, I’ve been voting for the lesser of two evils for many years. Neither candidate is stellar, but I’m supporting Trump because putting career politicians in office has us nearly 20 trillion in debt, a record number of people on food stamps, and our standing worldwide has never been lower.

      Time for a real change. Trump is the smart choice.

  • cntrlpavtr

    Think about it like this. The typical A+ to B+ student gets a B on the exam; the teacher doesn’t care. The typical F student gets a D+ or a C- on an exam; the teacher congratulates that student and talks about how much the student improved. Although, in absolute terms, the student who managed to get a C- still isn’t doing too hot. That has been this political race in a nutshell. Donald Trump tried to win the debate the same way one wins a limbo contest – by lowering the bar. That should depress all of us.

  • Stana

    I don’t feel like Trump addressed any question. Not what he would do in Syria, not how he would fix inner cities, not how he would deal with Islamophobia. He had stump speech favorites that he rolled out, and when the moderators tried to make him stay on topic – he claimed they gave him less time (even though talk times were pretty even and he kept interrupting Hillary)

    • Jan Chilton

      He never does address anything. Stands up there and yells all those silly promises about making the country rich and how much money everybody is going to have. It’s so flaming childish and insane. And you people (Trump followers) swallow it all like a hound dog eating chocolate. I just can’t believe the intelligence of the country has gone so low.

  • james joseph balchune

    WNEP will not show this on the news unless they change the numbers right now it is Trump 75% verses Hillarys 25 %^ they will never show this.

  • magicmikexxsm

    Clinton didn’t take the bait. She repeated First Lady Michelle Obama’s philosophy articulated at the Democratic convention: “When they go low, we go high.”…………………………………..
    LOL gee who leaked an 11 year old video of Trumps comments??????

    News flash Hillary, Trump eat you for lunch last night………..you can try to spin it, but he beat you.

  • cntrlpavtr

    Think about it like this. The typical A+ to B+ student gets a B on the exam; the teacher doesn’t care. The typical F student gets a D+ or a C- on an exam; the teacher congratulates that student and talks about how much the student improved. Although, in absolute terms, the student who managed to get a C- still isn’t doing too hot. That has been this political race in a nutshell. Donald Trump tried to win the debate the same way one wins a limbo contest – by lowering the bar. That should depress all of us.

      • cntrlpavtr

        Think about it like this. The typical A+ to B+ student gets a B on the exam; the teacher doesn’t care. The typical F student gets a D+ or a C- on an exam; the teacher congratulates that student and talks about how much the student improved. Although, in absolute terms, the student who managed to get a C- still isn’t doing too hot. That has been this political race in a nutshell. Donald Trump tried to win the debate the same way one wins a limbo contest – by lowering the bar. That should depress all of us.

  • Meh

    Hit the polls hard people. Chances are that voting will be skewed to begin with towards the POS Shillary (google: “Dead People And Illegal Immigrants Are Being Registered To Vote All Over America”). Every vote matters. TRUMP 2016!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • That Guy

    Unfortunately, I have to cringe and say that Trump probably “Won” the night, simply because his unacceptable behavior is exactly what people seem to want. This wasn’t a debate, this was Jerry Springer, and the American people have come to only want the breakdowns and the arguments, they’ve come to see Trump’s explosive behavior.

    He dodged EVERY single question, his entire debate was a Best Hits album from his campaign. I say this as a neutral voter: You can’t dodge facts, you can’t deny the things that you have on record….but Donald can. It makes him so incredibly popular with the crowd to create such a fantasy around your entire campaign and then continue to harass the other side for living within lies.

    • cntrlpavtr

      The standards set by Donald Trump for debate performance are set so incredibly low, even more so by his supporters. To some folks, Mr. Trump losing his composure and yelling, “you’d be in jail”, means he won the debate.
      Overall, Trump’s debate performance may have given heart to his base supporters, stopping his slide in the polls, but did little to bring new voters into the fold, especially women. Voter preferences are now hardening, and more trouble could lie ahead.

      • Marvin

        She committed perjury while under questioning with Congress. That is a crime, and if you did it you would be in jail.
        But liberals hate facts. Trump is an arrogant jerk, but Hillary is a political hack, and is only out for power. She will increase spending and people who work and pay taxes will be put deeper into taxation slavery and the borders will be wide open and the country will become a dictatorship, as all the illegals and refugees will vote Democrat. Maybe that is what you want, but do not be so blind, YOU will be affected as well.

      • cntrlpavtr

        @Marvin You are correct. There are several instances of congressional perjury that seem to be readily verifiable with information available to the public. Even if the FBI never indicts, you can still expect the idea of impeachment hearings to be thrown around from day one of her administration. It will be a disaster.

        That being said. Mr. Trump is not a good candidate. I would have voted for John McCain and I would have voted for Mitt Romney, but I will not vote for Mr. Trump. He is an embarrassment. I truly hope the Republican party finds itself after this election and can put together a better platform with better representation because they really blew it this election cycle. I will not enjoy voting for Clinton, but at this point I’m left with no choice.

  • Valfreyja

    And just like that Trump lost the election. We dodged a crazy bullet, America. Not that Clinton is exactly our shining paladin, but at least we’ll get to be a country for four more years.

    • Martin

      Glad you think so. Trump made much better points than Hillarious. I thought she was going to have one of her famous (read: 9/11 style) attacks when he replied to her that she would be in jail. You could actually see the pasted on smile disappear and she kept muttering on about fact checking. Speaking of facts, there have been none forthcoming from her about the email fiasco which may have well compromised our national security.
      You must like wallowing in the regressive leftness as you appear to want more of the same crap we have had for the last 8 years. You cannot honestly state that the country is better off than it was 8 years ago.
      Signed by another irredeemable
      As deemed by H. Clinton who has no room to speak about irredeemability
      Who is herself, irredeemable

    • Valfreyja

      It’s just sad how big a baby the right has become that they cannot simply accept that they made a poor choice in candidates. Obviously YOUR choice couldn’t be wrong. No, it’s a CONSPIRACY. Please. This is why Republicans are becoming unelectable, party-wide; it’s not the politicians. They’re just a symptom of the problem. The problem isn’t with the man in the big white house on PA Avenue; it’s the man in the small house on main street.

      Get it together, conservatives. This is embarrassing us in front of the Russians.

  • Vicki

    The moderator brought the subject up just as we knew they would. We wanted to hear about the policies but the moderators want nothing more than to disgrace Trump. It’s sickening that these people don’t give everyone an equal opportunity to cover policies.

  • Jeff Woehrle

    Rolling out Bill Clinton’s harassment victims just before the debate was pure genius.

    We need brains back in the White House.

  • Michael

    The only ones that Trump’s remarks are a big deal are: ta dum: the media. Yes, all TV with the exception of Fox are so obviously IMPLICITLY biased for Hillaryous.
    She was quite obviously shaken when she said “I’m glad that you are not in charge of the law” and he said “Yeah, because you would be in jail!” . Luckily it was her turn to sit down and regenerate her plastic “smile”.
    Uggh, there is absolutely no redeeming value to this woman.

    • Drowning in taxes

      With the exception of Megan Kelly who cried this morning when others on Fox said Mr. Trump won the debate, which he did. I do not watch her anymore. She started all this. She also said “this was a win for Trump and a loss for America”. She should be working for CNN. President Trump for 2016!

    • Valfreyja

      Thanks the gods for that. I’ll NEVER shed blood for anyone who’d vote for Trump. You are not my countrymen.

      • Jeff Woehrle

        Grubers like you always look for someone else to do the heavy lifting. Your laughable pledge rings hollow.

  • robert

    This is obviously written by a liberal . Pathetic! We’re offended Bill Clinton has physically assaulted so many women and the Clinton foundation continues taking big donations from countries whom execute gay people and whose women aren’t allowed to work, the words Trump said don’t compare….

    • Drowning in taxes

      When asked about her Emails being hacked. I am surprised no one brought up Gucifer the Romanian serving time for hacking into her Emails. She is a disgrace and would sell this Country out in heartbeat for the power and money.

  • Dianna

    I think that Donald Trumps locker room talk is way better than Bill Clintons actions. and Hillary Clinton Bashing the women Bill slept with.

      • Valfreyja

        They really are! Clinton’s not my ideal choice by a mile, but she was 100% correct when she called his supporters irredeemable.

    • ...

      HT and VALFREYJA you both clearly have reading comprehension issues. Keep supporting your Rapist enabling Hillary and her rapist husband though…

      • ht

        No reading comprehension problems here. Hillary is not responsible for her husband’s behavior. You are foolish to hold her responsible for another person’s behavior. It’s easy to accuse with no hard facts. Her husband is not running for president. Trump is. Not only has he made a complete a** out of himself repeatedly with his disgusting mouth, he has also said ugly things about his own daughter. It’s out there.

    • Dianna

      and you think Hillary smiling like a clown is ok? Tell me Why is it OK for her to trash talk about the women her husband slept with??? why is it OK to call 1/2 of the people deplorable? why is it ok to delete her emails? oh I forgot she said she did not mean to say that.

      • Jan Chilton

        Partially true. It’s not half…it’s 75% at a minimum. This country has enough idiots in it to end the world. We don’t need to be afraid of Putin or the idiot child in North Korea. We’ve got enough nutcases right here to do the job.

  • Alexander Reagan

    Hillary says we are not at war with Islam but Islam is at war with us.

    Reveal The Truth About Islam And You Will Be Called Islamophobic bit.ly/2dY7Oz7

      • William Johnson

        The Muslim response to Donald Trump’s serious petition for help against terrorism is to mock all Americans.

        Hillary says we are not at war with Islam but Islam is at war with us.

        Reveal The Truth About Islam And You Will Be Called Islamophobic bit.ly/2dY7Oz7

        THE NEW ‘MUSLIM HATE CRIMES INCREASE’ HOAX
        Islamophobia is all about faking it. bit.ly/2dqtfYt

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