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The final US Presidential debate

By SEC Newgate team
27 October 2020

By Phil Elwood, SEC Newgate, Washington D.C.

The second and final debate featured fewer interruptions, and generally almost something resembling political discourse. Or as USA Today’s Editorial Board put it: “Well, in a way it was better — better than, say, listening to a jackhammer while having a root canal, which is what the first debate was like. This one was more civilized and substantive.”

Polling website FiveThirtyEight and Ipsos partnered on the night of the debate for a live readout of the from the Ipsos KnowledgePanel. The results indicated that most viewers remained unchanged in their support after watching the debate, meaning much like the Vice Presidential debate the week before, this session is likely to have little impact on the ultimate outcome. The panel indicated slightly more viewers believed that former Vice President Joe Biden won the debate. Axios conducted a poll with SurveyMonkey, which found that Biden was stronger on most issues discussed in the debate. CNN’s immediate polling also gave the debate to the former Vice President. Republican pollster Frank Luntz convened a panel that felt U.S. President Donald Trump won the debate, but he is still predicting that Biden will win the election.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson has a truly surreal take on Trump’s victorious performance on the Fox News Opinion website. Fox News also believed that the true winner of the debate was Hunter Biden, who received as much air time as the President could give him. For those unfamiliar, the New York Post has published a series of broadly discredited pieces about the former Vice President’s son, Hunter Biden. Vox has a good explainer about the recent saga. New York Magazine also has a piece on the so-called (by Trump) “laptop from hell” that is worth reading.

CNN requested their commentators submit their hot-takes on who won. The New York Times had six takeaways from the debate. The Associated Press was among many news organizations to do a comprehensive fact checking of the event. Bloomberg did a good look at the truthiness of some of the candidates’ statements.

As per usual, late-night comedy show Saturday Night Live did a parody making us all laugh as American rhetorical history is once again defaced before our eyes.