Local voters, political expert weigh in on presidential debate

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Locally, voters were mixed on their impression of the debate

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – With so many polls suggesting the vast majority of voters have already made up their minds between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, finding someone who is still undecided is something of a rarity, and it looks like Tuesday night’s debate didn’t change that.

Local political scientist Professor Paul Sracic is blaming the debate format for what many thought of as a chaotic scene between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.

In the end, Sracic said he didn’t see any clear winner and really not many memorable lines.

“Oftentimes, you have a little jab that was somewhat humorous. There was no humor. These were two candidates who really, really don’t like each other, and in some ways, it’s a reflection of 2020 politics,” Sracic said.

Sracic said with so many other countries around the world following the American political system, Tuesday’s contentious debate did not portray either candidate very favorably.

Locally, voters were mixed on their impression of the debate. Giuseppe Musmeci, of Youngstown, said he tried to stay impartial.

“I kind of went in neutral because I was very interested to see just what they had to talk about,” he said.

The two candidates spent much of the 90-minute debate in Cleveland bickering with each other, often with both men talking at the same time.

“They bickered back and forth for things that if you’re a Democrat, you believe, and if you are a Republican, you believe,” said Stephanie Means, of Steubenville.

Already, the Commission on Presidential Debates, which devised Tuesday night’s format, is looking to make some changes.

At least one viewer didn’t seem to mind what many were calling chaos. Dominic Coopers said he wished the debate would have been longer but that it wasn’t easy to separate the facts from the spin.

“I liked it. I just wish it went on longer because I feel like, after that, I don’t know if it was an hour or two, but it could have kept going longer,” sCooper said. “It’s kind of hard to know what to trust because are they saying it for the people or are they saying just what sounds right?”

Although the former vice president has frequently been criticized by Republicans for his verbal gaffs and mental slip-ups, Means thinks he managed to hold his own last night.

“I did not feel that we was mentally incompetent, so I came away with a little bit different opinion of that,” she said.

But was it enough for her to switch from voting for the President? “No way, no way,” she said.

The next Presidential debate is October 15.

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