By Adam Hornbuckle
There is a good chance that you or someone you know watched the first presidential debate on Monday, Sept. 26. Over 80 million Americans across the country viewed the debate, and many more have heard, read or re-watched it since.
The candidates went toe-to-toe and verbally duked it out for 95 minutes, covering hot topics including job creation, trade deals, race relations, the War on Terror, US foreign policy, and more.
Polls conducted after the debate came back with mixed results. A CNN/ORC poll conducted directly after the debate, polled the crowd at Hofstra University who watched the debate live. The poll found that 62 percent felt Clinton won the debate and 27 percent thought that Trump was the winner.
A poll conducted by Public Policy Polling found that 51 percent thought that Clinton had won the debate and 40 percent thought that Trump had won. Among those polled by Public Policy Polling, young people favored Clinton as the winner by a 39-point margin. Among women polled, Clinton was thought to be the winner by an 18-point margin, and among African Americans and Latinos, Clinton was the decided winner by a margin of 64 points.
Students have been buzzing about the debate for a week. “I didn’t see the full debate, but I saw a good chunk of it,” said James Sinclair, a junior physical education major. “After seeing it, I think Trump is very unorthodox. He’s the type of guy that would do whatever is on his mind. In this election, I’d have to vote for Clinton. Being a future teacher, I trust Hillary when it comes to education.”
Sophomore biology major Connor Dromerhauser wasn’t impressed by either candidate. “I saw the debate on Monday, I think it’s crazy that these are our two choices,” he said. “I think they have funny styles, between her style of dress and his hair. I think both candidates had their moments in the debate.”
Donald Trump’s temperament was a focal point for many students who viewed the debate on Monday. Mike Licata, a sophomore health science major, said, “The way Donald Trump speaks on impulse is concerning. A president should be cool, calm and collected. He should think before he speaks. He should think about the problems the country is facing. I’m probably [going to] vote for Hillary. I think she definitely won the debate.”
International students, who do not have the chance to vote in November, have been talking about it as well. Ahmed Faqui, a senior international business major, said, “I think Hillary won, Trump was always out of breath. If I could vote I [would] vote for Hillary.”
Ali Aomascati, a junior business management and administration major, said, “I didn’t see the debate Monday, but if I could I’d vote for Hillary because Trump would turn America upside down.” Faqui and Aomascati, both citizens of the United Arab Emirates, gave a piece of advice to their American peers to “choose wisely.”