A political science professor says Americans couldn’t have taken away much from the latest debate between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton.
And just what should voters make of this latest clash of Trump and Clinton?
“My hope would be that American voters wouldn’t think that all of politics is this nasty and unproductive,” Diane Duffin tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Duffin, chair of the Political Science Department at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, says it is doubtful voters gleaned much information from the debate.
“But, my sense is that this may have been the shortest on policy substance of any presidential debate I’ve watched and I can go back to 1980,” according to Duffin.
Duffin says she was curious to see how Trump would handle the release of a 2005 video in which he brags lewdly about attempted sexual encounters with women. She says he stuck to his message, avoided being baited by Clinton unlike in the first debate, and held up in St. Louis. It didn’t end his campaign.
As for Clinton, she stuck to a strategy of rising above the Trump scandal, according to Duffin. Duffin says it appears the Clinton strategy was to focus on looking presidential, engaging the audience, and talking substance.
Duffin says the town hall format suffered. The Gallup organization spent resources to find undecided voters in the St. Louis area. Few of those invited to the debate got to ask their questions.
There does seem to be a silver lining, even if it is a bit of a facetious one.
Duffin finds comfort in the fact that only 59 million tuned in to watch this second debate, down 20% from the record 84 million who watched the first debate.
“Oh, that makes me slightly hopeful,” Duffin says. “Fewer people saw what was pretty much a poor performance all the way around and that’s probably good for American democracy.”
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]