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US Analysis: 3rd Trump-Clinton Debate — “Stick a Fork in The Donald. He’s Done.”

US Analysis: 3rd Trump-Clinton Debate — “Stick a Fork in The Donald. He’s Done.”
October 20
06:19 2016

Adam Quinn of the University of Birmingham offers a snap breakdown of the third and final US Presidential debate between Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton:


Trump went in losing badly, needing to do something to turn it around. How did he do?

Well, he was calmer for longer than in either previous debate. He spoke in a more normal voice. He came across as a more normal candidate early on. He managed to get through his talking points on guns, Clinton’s e-mails, trade, and other issues. But, but, but….

Trump overshot on abortion. Then Clinton turned the immigration section into a hammering of him for his failure to condemn Russian espionage, and segued into his trustworthiness with the nuclear button.

And Trump failed to say the obvious and necessary things to help himself.

The “fitness for office” section was an unmitigated catastrophe for Trump. Blanket denials about the accusations of sexual assault against him, no shred of the contrition or sensitivity needed to win women over.

Then the kicker: Refuses Point-Blank to Say He Will Concede If He Loses the Election. Says he’ll “keep you in suspense”.
That’s going to be the headline. In a sense the rest is details.

After that, the section on foreign policy showed up Trump’s usual bluster and incompetence, while Clinton hammered home the scale of her experience. The discussion on the economy gave Trump a bit more scope to get back to his talking points, but it also let Clinton point out that his avowed policy would see the deficit balloon and would bring tax cuts for the richest.

The closing statements summed up the divide: Clinton made a explicit appeal to all Americans of all backgrounds and parties. Trump talks about…well, the kind of things he talks about. Oh, and he interrupts while Clinton is talking to say, “What a Nasty Woman”.

The weird thing is that, in a lot of ways, Trump had his best debate and was much improved – in tone, that is, not on substance – at least early in the debate. But he won’t have won over a single person in the key groups he needed — in broad strokes, anyone who is not a grievance-fuelled white man. And his biggest mistakes were so bad that he’ll be excoriated by the media from right to left all through tomorrow. Disaster.

The election was probably decided already, but even the slightest sliver of hope Trump might conceivably have harbored has been crushed. Stick a fork in this election — it’s done. The only question is how much damage has been done to American democracy by this dark farce.

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About Author

Scott Lucas

Scott Lucas

Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.

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2 Comments

  1. Bill Anderson
    Bill Anderson October 20, 17:14

    Adam Quinn says stick a fork in Trump he’s done.
    Maybe so but todays polls indicate otherwise.
    .
    Thursday, October 20, 2016

    It’s too early to measure the impact of last night’s final presidential debate, but Republican Donald Trump now has a three-point lead nationally on Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton.
    .

    The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online White House Watch survey finds Trump with 43% support among Likely U.S. Voters to Clinton’s 40%. Six percent (6%) still prefer Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, and three percent (3%) favor Green Party nominee Jill Stein. Another three percent (3%) like some other candidate, and six percent (6%) are undecided.
    .
    IBT shows Trump with a 1 point lead. (source real clear politics)
    .
    New nickname for Trump? How about The Teflon Donald.

    Reply to this comment
  2. cocokarim199
    cocokarim199 October 20, 23:06

    A candidate needs 270EV to win!With Maine,Oregon,Virginia,Minnesota,Pennsylvania,New Hampshire,Colorado,Wisconsin Hillary already won!
    To win ,Trumps needs to take Georgia,Arizona,Iowa,Ohio,Nevada,North Carolina,Florida and ONE OF THE STATES I WROTE FOR HILLARY.
    But Florida,North Carolina and Nevada are toss up-democrats,Georgia,Arizona,Iowa are toss up-republicans and Ohio is pure toss up.
    So Trump has to use a coin 8 times in a row and win every try + another time when the coin must stay on the EDGE TO WIN! Impossible!
    —————————
    On the other side ,about the debate,Clinton won,not spectacular,but she did it and ended the debate extremely correct.(POTUS suits her)
    And the reflections of the debate will come tomorrow,Saturday and Monday …. not immediately!
    For me Trump scored well when he talked avout Obama policy on Syria ,Iraq and Iran-US nuclear pact!

    Reply to this comment

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