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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Clinton Wins, But Not Just Because of Debates

Gabrielle Levy reports at US News:
Hillary Clinton won the third presidential debate over Donald Trump, according to two polls, completing a clean sweep of the three face-to-face contests and putting herself in a strong position with just 19 days left to go before the election.

A pair of polls conducted at the conclusion of Wednesday's clash in Las Vegas found the Democratic nominee was judged the winner by people who tuned in to watch.

A CNN/ORC poll found 52 percent of viewers deemed Clinton the winner of the debate, compared to 39 percent who said Trump came away victorious.

The 13-point margin, while still substantial, was less than the 23-point advantage viewers gave Clinton after the second debate, in St. Louis on Oct. 9, and the whopping 35-point edge she received after the first debate in New York on Sept. 26.

Debate viewers in battleground states who responded to CBS News/YouGov's survey on Wednesday night handed Clinton a victory by double-digit margin, 49 percent to 39 percent.
Jake Miller reports at CBS:
So Clinton was judged the winner of the debates, and over the course of the debate season, her standing among voters has improved markedly. But correlation isn’t necessarily causation, and we should be careful not to blame her rising numbers on the debates alone.
There’s no denying Clinton had some strong moments in the debate that may have helped her – her attacks on Trump’s tax returns, his remarks about women, and his temperament targeted Trump on issues that voters have already identified as weaknesses. And Trump likely did himself no favors with his promise to prosecute Clinton, if he’s elected, and his refusal to say he’d accept the election results if he doesn’t win.
But consider what else Trump has had to grapple with in recent weeks: A controversy over his fat-shaming of a beauty pageant contestant; the revelation that he could have avoided paying federal income taxes for 18 years; a tape in which he brags about groping women without their consent; a series of women coming forward to claim he did just that. And that’s just the greatest hits reel.
Given that parade of scandals, it seems reasonable to assume that events outside the debate halls may have had a greater impact on the shape of the race than anything that happened onstage. And there’s some survey evidence to suggest that most people don’t watch the debates to be persuaded – they watch them to root for their team.
At ABC, Liz Kreutz and Candace Smith explain that he even messed up an easy chance to seem nice.
Donald Trump was booed Thursday night at the annual Alfred E. Smith Dinner after delivering a series of jabs at his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, including trying to riff on a controversial remark he made at the latest presidential debate about her being a "nasty woman." Clinton also didn’t play nice, however her jokes appeared to be more well-received by the crowd.
The dinner in New York, to benefit charity, is supposed to be a light-hearted roast where the presidential candidates take jabs at themselves and each other, but the event came just a day after the particularly nasty third presidential debate.
During the debate, the candidates didn't shake hands or acknowledge each other before or after the forum.
Trump, who spoke first, tried at first to keep things light-hearted, but quickly turned to harsh criticism about Clinton, who he described as “corrupt.” His remarks drew boos from the crowd, unprecedented for the event in the memories of observers.