Trump, Clinton, Continue Antics at First Presidential Debate

Nick Leloia, News Editor

On Monday night, the people of the United States of America converged around their televisions to watch arguably the most anticipated presidential debate in U.S. history between democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and republican candidate Donald Trump. While the candidates did answer questions about their plans for their presidency should they win the election, they also wasted no time in trying to tarnish each other’s reputation.

A topic that continually surfaced in the debate hall at Hofstra University was Donald Trump’s unpublicized tax returns. Clinton used this to hint that Trump wants to hide something from the public and to bring Trump’s honesty and trustworthiness into question.

Perhaps the most recognizable sound byte from the night came when Trump’s taxes were the focal point of discussion.

“I will release my tax returns – against my lawyer’s wishes – when Hillary Clinton releases her 33,000 emails that have been deleted,” Trump declared. Of course, the emails that he is referencing are the ones that Clinton had sent and received from her private email address during her tenure as Secretary of State, instead of using the State Department email accounts maintained on federal servers.

Aside from the accusations made against each other, both candidates contributed their ideas and plans for the future of the United States of America, but the spotlight was stolen from what the debate was supposed to be about. Typically, presidential debates play a major role in determining who wins the presidency, especially during such a tight race.

“I don’t think the debates have as big of an effect as some people think. I think most people already have their preconceived opinions about the candidates and they are unwilling to change them”, West Morris Senior Matt Fernandes replied when I asked what effect he thinks the debate will have.

According to FiveThirtyEight, a website that uses advanced statistical analysis to predict political outcomes, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump had a 57.8% and 42.2% chance of winning on September 25, the day before the debate. As of September 30, 4 days after the debate, Clinton’s chances have risen to 66.3%, while Trump’s have fallen to 33.6%. This is likely due to the fact that the general consensus is that Hillary Clinton won the debate handily.

The next debate concerning November’s election will be the Vice Presidential Debate on Tuesday, October 4, and the second out of three debates between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will take place on Sunday, October 9.