Who won the third presidential debate? Let’s take a look at the final showdown’s results
The presidential debates of the general election season wrapped up Wednesday night, leaving us with an evening of intensive back-and-forth’s over Supreme Court nominations, immigration, and, obviously, character and moral compasses to pore over. So, who was the winner of the third and final presidential debate? So glad you asked, because the answer, which we’ll get to, is actually pretty obvious to anyone who sat through the damn thing.
The candidates, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump, offered their takes and plans (well, the one that actually has plans) on issues like debt and entitlement, immigration, the Supreme Court, foreign policy, and ah, of course, presidential “fitness”. Predictably enough, Clinton hit Trump on all the evidence of his deplorable treatment of women that have come to light, and Trump reiterated his attacks on Clinton’s emails, honesty, and judgment. As if no one saw that coming.
Many went so far as to call the election season a wrap when a 2005 tape of Trump essentially boasting about sexual assault and handfuls of accusations by women against Trump all came to light and absorbed media attention like an enormous sponge, the rationale being that Trump lost the women’s vote, and really the vote of any human being with some semblance of decency.
That being said, Trump had a lot at stake walking into Wednesday night’s third and final debate. On the other hand, a victory for Clinton at the debate would have served merely as the nail in the coffin and confirmed her inevitability.
So, how did they fare? It was a wild night with no shortage of savage blows from both sides, but when we look at factors like coherence, maturity, and, overall, whether any real policy ideas and plans were shared, Clinton had a clear upper hand.
Clinton might have taken hits on her foundation, susceptibility to foreign donations, emails, and predictably enough, her “trustworthiness,” but she was able to address criticisms and return them in kind. Her responses to issues disproportionately affecting marginalized groups, like abortion and immigration, strengthened her appeal to progressives who might still have doubts.
Trump certainly scored much-needed points with conservatives, all but promising SCOTUS nominees who would work together to repeal Roe v. Wade and spitting the usual pro-gun, hard-on-criminal-immigrants rhetoric so beloved by his base. But what he just can’t seem to move past and offer satisfying reassurances on are accusations painting him as a sexual predator and calling his whole outlook on women (half the nation) into question, as well as his lack of examples of his experience, judgment, and temperament encompassed by the term “presidential fitness.”