Sunday’s presidential debate might’ve impacted undecided voters

In the wake of a Donald Trump hot mic scandal, wikileaked Secretary Hillary Clinton speeches, and a vice presidential debate with record-low ratings, the second presidential debate aired Sunday, Oct. 9.

The debate had a town hall format, in which undecided voters in the audience and on social media asked the candidates questions and the moderators, Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz, asked follow up questions.

The first question was from an audience member who asked “…do you feel you’re modeling appropriate and positive behavior for today’s youth?” Each candidate had two minutes to answer, then Cooper segued into a question for Trump regarding the audio recently released of he and Billy Bush speaking lewdly about women.

“We received a lot of questions online, Mr. Trump, about the tape that was released on Friday, as you can imagine,” Cooper said “You called what you said locker room banter. You described kissing women without consent, grabbing their genitals. That is sexual assault. You bragged that you have sexually assaulted women. Do you understand that?”

“No, I didn’t say that at all. I don’t think you understood what was — this was locker room talk. I’m not proud of it. I apologize to my family. I apologize to the American people. Certainly I’m not proud of it. But this is locker room talk,” Trump replied, basically reiterating his initial statement about the tape. He quickly changed the topic “…Yes, I’m very embarrassed by it. I hate it. But it’s locker room talk, and it’s one of those things. I will knock the hell out of ISIS. We’re going to defeat ISIS. ISIS happened a number of years ago in a vacuum that was left because of bad judgment. And I will tell you, I will take care of ISIS.”

Cooper pressed the issue further and Trump continued to swiftly reply then change the subject to ISIS and other issues of safety. Clinton was then given the opportunity to speak on the issue and used it as a platform to discuss how unfit for presidency she believes Trump to be.

“So this is who Donald Trump is,” Clinton said. “And the question for us, the question our country must answer is that this is not who we are. That’s why – to go back to your question – I want to send a message – we all should – to every boy and girl and, indeed, to the entire world that America already is great, but we are great because we are good, and we will respect one another, and we will work with one another, and we will celebrate our diversity.”

This question continued to snowball into discussion of birtherism and emails. More questions were asked regarding the Affordable Care Act, the rise of Islamaphobia in America, Clinton’s leaked speeches, tax cuts for the wealthy, Trump’s unreleased tax returns, the crisis is Syria, if the candidates would be a president for all of the people, Trump’s tweetstorm about Alicia Machado, the Supreme Court vacancy, energy policy and the closing question “Regardless of the current rhetoric, would either of you name one positive thing that you respect in one another?” The entire transcript of the debate can be found here.

After every debate, a major conversation throughout the media and those who watched is who actually won.

“(Clinton) won last night’s debate because she was cool and collected and didn’t interrupt (Trump) all the time,” freshman Computer Science major Matthew Lober said.

This debate, though less watched than the previous presidential debate, had the potential to be a deciding factor in many Americans.

“I think (the debate) has influenced many people in the United States because after the debate I saw a ‘who won the debate’ poll in which (Clinton) won 75 percent of the votes,” senior math and education major Jordan Weissberg said.

Regardless of who won or how the debate was received, both candidates have some things they could’ve done better.

“The candidates should work on responding solely to the questions they were asked,” Weissberg said. “Both candidates seemed to be more interested in making the other look bad than showing their own (views).”