Dominick Matarese – I think it’s obvious to anyone that watched both debates that Trump tried a more measured strategy this time around. At least when it comes to interrupting and yelling, his comments were still as divisive as usual. However, I don’t know how much his less combative appearance will matter in the grand scheme of things. There are less undecided voters up for grabs than there were in 2016, and of those that are still deciding, I don’t know if Trump’s message was appealing to them. Aside from issues like fracking he mainly was giving lip service to his base. All Biden had to do was come in and not totally implode, so despite the fact that Trump was at his debate best, he was still fighting an uphill battle and I don’t believe he met the occasion.
Jarred Woodward – Comparing this debate to the last one, it’s evident that both candidates had one goal: do not blow their cool and let the other side do the work for them. Even with the new proposed rule of muting microphones, it didn’t stop both candidates from taking shots at one another whenever they could. I could tell Trump was trying to grasp and pull at what undecided voters there are left, and without any substance to his claims or policies – it doesn’t seem like he was successful in his attempt. Even with this being a much tamer debate, it still had elements of chaos weaved throughout. This was a clear win for Biden, even with Trump performing at what could be considered his best.
Thomas Corey- After a chaotic first presidential debate, which could appear as a melodramatic reality TV show for an unsuspecting viewer, the final debate was easier to watch. Featuring the mute button, the ability for each candidate to get out an idea was much better. Ultimately, I think it was a win for Biden. Trump did not seem to offer much substance or plans, but rather an outward expression of his attitude and feelings, pride in himself and disdain for the democrats. Biden made it a point to redirect his responses to “the people,” and had coherent plans for the future. Biden’s ability to remain practical and focused served him well. While Trump’s behavior was better than the last debate, his responses still seemed empty of realistic plans and full of insults to his opponent.