The first presidential debate took place Monday night on stage at Hofstra University. Donald Trump faced off against Hillary Rodham Clinton in their first face to face debate hosted by Lester Holt. They started off by talking about the economy and jobs, touching on foreign policy issues like ISIS and — of course — hitting personal talking points about Trump's tax returns and Clinton's emails. Why do people think Trump won the first presidential debate? Twitter has been offering up some explanations, as has the media.
Throughout the debate, many media outlets were tasked with fact-checking the candidate's claims and remarks. Twitter, meanwhile, was more likely to critique the candidate's behavior, demeanor, appearance and — in many cases, grammar. Together, the facts and the impression left by each candidate will determine where the country is leaning in terms of voting in the November election. Polls have consistently shown the two are close in terms of supporters, but after the debate last night, many feel that Trump came out ahead.
While many have suggested that Clinton won the debate in terms of traditional debate expectations, others are suggesting that because Trump did not take a traditional approach, he further endeared himself to his supporters.
Trump Defied (Traditional) Expectations
People usually have some expectations about what the presidential debates will look like, and they have a long history of looking, sounding, and feeling a particular way. By those standards, many felt that Clinton came out on top. But for those who were looking for something new, something that challenged traditions and expectations, it looks like Trump took the lead.
Trump "Tells It Like It Is" — Even At The Podium
One of the reasons throngs of voters are dedicated to Trump is that they feel he "tells it like it is" — which means he speaks in a way that people can understand, even without a political background. While some pointed out that Trump doesn't talk political talk because he has no experience, and doesn't actually know enough about the issues, others assert that he does know — he just chooses to speak in a blunt, to-the-point manner to his audiences.
Trump Looked Good Because Clinton Looked Bad
This logic might seem like a bit of a stretch, but many pundits this morning — even those who are openly supporters of Clinton — felt that she looked "too presidential" and that she acted "too smart." In debates, especially the first one of the election season, connecting with voters is key. Many feel that Trump managed to address and connect with his audience in a stronger, more meaningful way than Clinton did. They argue that her "temperament," if you will, was too isolating for many voters, who were looking for emotional appeal.
He Was A Gentleman For Not Dragging Bill Clinton
Trump implied in his post-debate remarks that he could have been a lot more ruthless during the debate — specifically, that he had been prepared to drag in personal details about Clinton's life. Most notably, it seems, he was poised to bring up Bill Clinton's marital discretions, as though that has anything whatsoever to do with Hillary Clinton's ability to be president. Still, he was proud of himself for holding back — and his supporters found him "gentlemanly" for taking the high road.
There's a lot still to come, with both candidates back on the campaign trail Tuesday morning. The next debate will be Tuesday Oct. 4 at Longwood University.