Everything you need to know about the final Presidential debate


Jayla Butler and Hannah Jorstad

In the midst of one of the most controversial elections in modern history, here’s what you need to know from the final presidential debate. It was held on Wednesday, October 19 at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Trump and Clinton did not shake hands at any point throughout the debate

This frosty start set the tone for the entire debate. Although there were less personal attacks than in past debates, numerous interruptions, and rude comments still reflected badly on both parties. Trump called Clinton a “nasty woman,” and Clinton returned the favor by referring to Trump as Putin’s puppet.

The moderator, Chris Wallace, did not hesitate to challenge either candidate

Unlike past moderators who tended to show their negative bias towards one candidate (typically Trump), Fox News anchor Chris Wallace remained relatively neutral by pressing both candidates to answer questions more directly and truthfully.

Donald Trump refused to state that he would accept Clinton’s presidency if she is elected

However, Republican Party leaders have since promised to accept the results regardless of Trump’s position.

On inauguration day, the future president will already have a hefty task ahead of them – appointing a Supreme Court Justice

This was one of the biggest topics discussed at the debate, as the vacancy of the ninth Justice means that the Supreme Court is evenly split between the left and right. Whoever is nominated will be the deciding factor in many important Supreme Court rulings, which is why many conservatives have wanted the nomination process to wait until the next president is sworn in (in hopes a Republican will win the election). This issue has gained even more controversy over the past few months due to the Senate’s refusal to hold a hearing for President Obama’s pick, Merrick Garland.

Clinton said that she will nominate someone who “will stand up on behalf of of women’s rights, on behalf of the rights of the LGBT community, [and] that will stand up and say no to Citizens United.”On the other hand, Trump said he will nominate a conservative who “is going to uphold the Second Amendment and all amendments,” is pro-life and “will interpret the Constitution the way the Founders wanted it interpreted.”

Clinton won the debate

According to a poll conducted by CNN, 52% of debate-watchers thought that Clinton outperformed Trump. This would seem to indicate  that a majority of Americans believe she won all three debates.

Many believe that it’s too late for Trump to make a comeback

According to FiveThirtyEight’s real time election forecast*, Trump only has a 13.5% of winning the general election. Trump has 43.7% of the popular vote, but only a projected 195.7 electoral votes, compared to Clinton’s 49.7% and 341.4.

Bottom Line

In this presidential race, we have two candidates willing to treat each other with disrespect and won’t even shake hands. The purpose of the debate – to better understand the candidates’ views – was neglected. Interruptions, avoidance of questions, and overall immature behavior from both parties reflected poorly on both candidates, and prevented Americans from getting the opportunity to be educated on the candidate’s’ political stances.

While the debates have allowed Americans to get to know both the candidates better, it was a side that, unfortunately, Americans have been exposed to more than once before. Trump was unprofessional and both were unpleasant- this has been seen by the public time and time again. The side of Trump and Clinton that Americans need to see is still desperately lacking. The candidates have done nothing to disprove our worst fears of their leadership skills. Voters’ reason to have faith in Clinton’s strong leadership is clouded by the implication that she lacks respect for everyday Americans based on her inclination to avoid the truth. On the other hand, America has repeatedly seen Trump’s childish, sexist and disreputable behavior, showing that he is unfit to be Commander in Chief.

Although Clinton is not the candidate that many Americans hoped for, it would appear that after three debates there is not much of a choice left for voters. Donald Trump has shown that he cannot conduct himself in a manner fitting for President of the United States.

A lot of Americans who oppose Clinton feel that she fits the stereotype of a politician: dirty practices that contradict what a public figure should uphold. These voters want change. Trump appeals to voters by branding himself as an outsider who will bring radical change to Washington. However, based on his campaign’s repeated alienation of Mexicans and Muslims as well as attacking numerous female public figures, Trump will only incite ignorance and hatred if elected president.

Trump would certainly bring change, but it wouldn’t “Make America Great Again.”

In a way, it would be more of the same.

*As of October 21, 2016 at 1:15 pm CST