Padraic Manning – Staff Writer
CLARION, Pa.- The third and final presidential debate took place this Oct. 19, and given recent polls, it proved to be a crucial night for Republican nominee Donald Trump.
At the Clarion College Republicans’ watch party, students were optimistic, with some saying, “The Donald is going to do great tonight.” This group of about 20 students settled in around 9 p.m. for what would certainly be a key moment in what has been an intense race.
Trump began the debate rather withheld, speaking in a softer tone, and using fewer personal attacks than the two previous. Many in the audience noticed this change in Trump.
A key moment in the debate when the attitudes seemed to change was the exchange between Clinton and Trump on Russian President Vladimir Putin, when the candidates resorted to calling each other puppets.
This exchange drew many laughs from the crowd, with one student yelling from the auditorium, “It’s like they’re toddlers up there.”
After this exchange between Trump and Clinton, the debate returned to its previous flow. While the room was quiet for the most part, some students made their opinions known, applauding Trump’s comments on trade and questioning Secretary Clinton’s claim that she “will not add a penny to the national debt.”
Throughout the debate, most of the students shared a common thought that they just wish the debate would be more about policy and less about attacking the opponents.
This frustration was most evident during the “Fitness to Lead” portion of the debate. During this section, the students agreed that moderator Chris Wallace did not adequately question the secretary about her personal foundation.
What the students got enough time of was Donald Trump’s comments on the leaked “Access Hollywood” tape.
At the end of the debate, most students in students in the room felt that Trump had done well and outperformed Clinton in the last debate despite some rough spots.
Throughout the debate, there were a number of students who felt Trump was not doing well. They held that he did not “give enough details” and “interrupted her too much.”
Despite this dissent, the majority of students said Trump “did well,” which is good news for his campaign with the election only two weeks away.