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Clinton won first debate, most say

In the eyes of respondents to this week’s RBJ Daily Report Snap Poll, Democrat Hillary Clinton was the victor in her first debate with Republican Donald Trump. The two candidates squared off Monday night in a 90-minute event that drew the largest TV audience ever for a U.S. presidential debate.

Moderated by “NBC Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt, the debate focused on three key issues: America’s direction; the nation’s economy; and national security and foreign policy.

Among Snap Poll respondents who identified themselves as Democrats, 90 percent say Clinton won. Slightly more than half—51 percent—of those who identify as Republicans say Clinton was the winner. Two-thirds of those who are independents or affiliated with a third party say Clinton won.

With six weeks remaining until Election Day, most national polls show the race between Clinton and Trump a dead heat. Monday night’s event was the first of three planned presidential debates. The others are scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 9 and Wednesday, Oct. 19.

More than 70 percent of this week’s Snap Poll respondents say the Clinton-Trump debates are not likely to influence their vote in this year’s presidential election. This compares with 9 percent who say the debates are very likely to have an impact on their vote, and 20 percent who answered “somewhat likely.”

Nielsen ratings show an estimated 84 million TV viewers watched Monday’s debate, exceeding the previously most-watched debate in 1980 between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.

Nearly 1,070 respondents participated in this week’s poll, which was conducted Sept. 27.

In your view, who won the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump?
Hillary Clinton: 70%
Donald Trump: 30%

Are the Clinton-Trump debates likely to influence your vote in this year’s presidential election?
Very likely: 9%
Somewhat likely: 20%
Not very likely: 28%
Not at all likely: 43%

What is your political affiliation?
Democrat: 32%
Republican: 30%
Non-affiliated: 33%
Other: 4%

COMMENTS:
Trump was totally unprepared. It was like watching a train wreck in slow motion.
—Michael Wolford

Trump’s reply on the birther issue was a disgrace. That alone disqualifies him. He is not fit to be president of this great nation.
—Bill Nailor

Anyone who hasn’t already made their choice for our next president has had their head deeply in the sand over the past 12 months. The debacle of the Republican Party’s performance in Congress since 2000 and in the office of the presidency during W’s two terms has shattered the GOP in my opinion—and I’ve been a Republican all my life. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined voting for Hillary Clinton to be president, but Trump is totally unfit to hold that vital office.
—R.W. Frye

Hillary Clinton is more of the same old-school politics, cares only about herself, staying in power/politics and continuing the Obama administration’s policies. She lied about Benghazi, her emails and the Clinton Foundation. I will not vote for a liar.
—John Bartolotto

I’m still voting for Mrs. Clinton, and I continue to be disappointed with the Republican Party and its choice for a presidential candidate.
—Lee Loomis

Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson should have been included in the debate. With two candidates as unpopular as Clinton and Trump, we need a third choice.
—Brian Weaver

Missed opportunities during this debate for Trump, in my opinion. Five seconds on email scandal, no mention of Benghazi and the failed foreign policy that exists; no mention of Clinton Foundation; no mention of her policy of gun control, etc., etc.—all areas where she would have been on the defensive for 80 of the 90 minutes. Instead, Trump’s taxes were discussed for more than eight minutes while Clinton discusses her poor father for an additional four minutes painting herself as a poor family growing up as compared to his “silver-spoon” childhood. Holt, I thought, continued to cut off Trump and allowed Clinton minutes of uninterrupted talk. He needs to get more aggressive with point-by-point issues, bringing them back to forefront instead of being swept under the carpet. Advantage Clinton on this one.
—David Topian, Westminster Real Estate Advisors

The best point was, “Where have you been for the last 26 years?” when discussing the economic conditions.
—Brian Snyder

Trump needs to do a better job of articulating the details of his positions. He was consistently on the defensive Monday night, and Hillary did a better job outlining where she would work to give support. After Trump ranted about the government debt and all the money squandered on the Middle East, Hillary had the comeback of the night when she said, “Maybe the debt wouldn’t be so high if you had paid some taxes.”
—Michael Reed

I thought Trump had trouble delivering his messages concisely while Clinton’s answers seemed canned and disingenuous. Both candidates missed opportunities in Round 1.
—James Barons, Brown & Brown

I hate to admit it, but “Hills” clearly won. She was calm, prepared, and even looked presidential. Still not sure I could vote for that “clown to the left” of me, but I’m equally unsure about the “joker to the right.”
—B. Canley, Fairport

Whip smart; prepared with real facts; experience as a senator and secretary of state; longtime advocate for children, women and minorities; a survivor of smear campaigns over three decades; a survivor of personal heartache while under the lens of public scrutiny: A leader. There is no contest.
—Eve Elzenga, Eve Elzenga Design

Who won the debate? I can tell you who didn’t win—the American people.
—Vinny Dallo

Clinton has made public her last nine years of (tax) returns. Trump claims he can’t release any of his because he’s being audited (“can’t” really should be “won’t,” as there is no law preventing him releasing them). Why hasn’t anyone pressed him to release his returns that are not being audited? Surely the IRS is not currently auditing each of the last nine years. Why hasn’t anyone asked him which years specifically are being audited, and to release the rest? Given the backlog at the IRS, it is doubtful they’ve caught up to 2015, so he should be pressed to release those, as well.
—Maggie Symington

Ms. Clinton remained on topic, gave facts and refused to allow Mr. Trump’s barely concealed anger derail her comments. Mr. Trump was able to control his temper and his wandering off-topic rants for about 15 minutes. Then he reverted to merely shouting, “I’ll do this or I’ll do that.” He insulted the military, NATO allies and my sensibilities. However, the question that this poll didn’t ask is, “Will it matter?” I suppose that I’m pessimistic about our democracy because I don’t think that it matters. Mr. Trump revels in pointing out what’s wrong here or there. His pessimism is shared by nearly half of Americans and the debate will make no difference to them. The mother lode of anger and disenfranchisement that Mr. Trump mines is mostly anger, and people who are that angry don’t listen very carefully.
—Wayne Donner, Rush

Last night was a win for (Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary) Johnson (and running mate William) Weld.
—Scott Seabridge

I hate to admit it, but “Hills” clearly won. She was calm, prepared, and even looked presidential. Still not sure I could vote for that “clown to the left” of me, but I’m equally unsure about the “joker to the right.”
—B. Canley, Fairport

It’s a travesty that these two are their party nominees. Both seriously flawed in very different but significant ways; therefore I am voting for a reasonable, honorable capable person—Gary Johnson (of course he’s not perfect and I don’t agree on every key issue, but his character isn’t reprehensible like the other two). Any of the past major party nominees—Gore, Bush, Kerry, Obama, McCain, Romney—was far superior to Trump and Clinton. They are each so flawed, neither gets my vote.
—D. Giambattista, Fairport

I can’t believe anyone can take Donald Trump seriously as a presidential candidate. The Republicans ought to be ashamed of themselves.
—Judy Palmieri

Hillary Clinton won the debate because she came to the debate with a full tank of facts, information and skill. Donald Trump came to the debate with a quarter tank of facts, information and skill. Also, Hillary was prepared and succeeded in provoking Trump.
—Ruby Austin

I would give Donald Trump the PT Barnum award for his performance. His showmanship, intentional lack of clarity and pivoting from the direct questions without really answering them gave his supporters a hopeful night. His over-the-top responses and simplistic analysis were a combination that could only be deemed entertainment. On the substance of response to the debate questions, Hillary Clinton was the clear choice for anyone listening without a predisposed bias. If viewers tune in to the remaining two presidential debates, there is still a chance for Trumps redemption over bluster.
—Tom Sargent

I’d like to think that any reasonable person would agree that Hillary Clinton won the debate hands down. However, I can’t forget about the strong “confirmation bias” that exists in this campaign; I don’t believe many voters’ minds were changed last night with the exception of those few voters still on the fence. I’m particularly disturbed by his responses to the “birther issue” and saying he was “very smart” for not paying federal income taxes. Even (American political advocate) Grover Norquist thinks we need to have a strong military, strong infrastructure, etc. Who does Donald Trump think should pay for these things?
—Peter Bonenfant

Just watch the behavior of Mr. Trump on the debate stage last evening and decide if that is how you want the next president of our country to behave on the world stage. During my recent travels to the UK it was interesting during interactions with our neighbors to the east that their overwhelming concern was that a man such as Trump may become the leader of the most powerful country in the world. Hopefully my fellow Americans share that concern and will vote accordingly.
—Dr. W. Bruce Gorman

The debate was an embarrassment. That’s the best America has to offer? The wife of an old president and a narcissist. I had to turn it off. We can’t take another four years of kicking the can, business as usual in Washington politics. Hard choice this year figuring out whom I dislike the least.
—Mark Williams

I have never seen two worse candidates to choose from ever. I think both candidates are losers. Neither one of them will make a good president. They are an embarrassment to this country and the parties should be ashamed of themselves that this is the best they can come up with. Clinton with all her bragging about her political experience has shown us zero accomplishments for those experiences and Trump has only given us lip service with a lot of hot air behind it. He hasn’t got a clue how to move forward on any of his ideas. My sense is that Clinton will win this election and nothing will change—nothing will get better in this country.
—Grant Osman

Both Hillary and Donald won the debate. They both accomplished what they wanted to do without making any “Poland is free” gaffe. This is round one in a three-round fight. Hillary had better comic writers (“All Donald’s books end with Chapter 11.”) but Donald had better hair. If only Hillary had gone over and messed it up or pulled on it like Jimmy Fallon did on the “Tonight Show.” It’s all great theater.
—Clifford Jacobson M.D., Vanguard Psychiatric Services PC

Did anyone else watch the first 15 minutes of the debate, throw up in their mouth three times (once every 5 minutes), and then tune into “Walking Dead” reruns? If these two clowns are the best we can do, the two-party system is completely broken. A: Populist bully; B: Crony establishment criminal.
—Kenya Burn-Moore, Rochester

Please include Gary Johnson in all political polls.
—Fritz Ruebeck

9/30/2016 (c) 2016 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email rbj@rbj.net.

One comment

  1. Bill says: “In law school, Hillary worked on legal services for the poor.”
    The facts are: Hillary’s main extra-curricular activity in law school was helping the Black Panthers, on trial in Connecticut for torturing and killing a federal agent. She went to court every day as part of a law student monitoring committee trying to spot civil rights violations and develop grounds for appeal.

    Bill says: “Hillaryspent a year after graduation working on a children’s rights project for poor kids.”
    The facts are: Hillary interned with Bob Truehaft, the head of the California Communist Party. She met Bob when he represented the Panthers and traveled all the way to San Francisco to take an internship with him.

    Bill says: “Hillary could have written her own job ticket, but she turned down all the lucrative job offers.”
    The facts are: She flunked the DC bar exam; yes, flunked. It is a matter of record, and only passed the Arkansas bar. She had no job offers in Arkansas – none – and only got hired by the University of Arkansas Law School at Fayetteville because Bill was already teaching there. She did not join the prestigious Rose Law Firm until Bill became Arkansas Attorney General and was made a partner only after he was elected Arkansas Governor.

    Bill says: “President Carter appointed Hillary to the Legal Services Board of Directors and she became its chairman.”
    The facts are: The appointment was in exchange for Bill’s support for Carter in his 1980 primary against Ted Kennedy. Hillary then became chairman in a coup in which she won a majority away from Carter’s choice to be chairman.

    Bill says: “She served on the board of the Arkansas Children’s Hospital.”
    The facts are: Yes, she did. But her main board activity, not mentioned by Bill, was to sit on the Walmart board of directors for a substantial fee. She was silent about their labor and health care practices.

    Bill says: “Hillarydidn’t succeed at getting health care for all Americans in 1994, but she kept working at it and helped to create the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) that provides five million children with health insurance.”
    The facts are: Hillary had nothing to do with creating CHIP. It was included in the budget deal between Clinton and Republican Majority Leader Senator Trent Lott. I know; I helped negotiate the deal. The money came half from the budget deal and half from the Attorney Generals’ tobacco settlement. Hillary had nothing to do with either source of funds.

    Bill says: “Hillary was the face of America all over the world.”
    The facts are: Her visits were part of a program to get her out of town so that Bill would not appear weak by feeding stories that Hillary was running the White House. Her visits abroad were entirely touristic and symbolic and there was no substantive diplomacy on any of them.

    Bill says: “Hillarywas an excellent Senator who kept fighting for children’s and women’s issues.”
    The facts are: Other than totally meaningless legislation like changing the names on courthouses and post offices, she has passed only four substantive pieces of legislation. One set up a national park in Puerto Rico . A second provided respite care for family members helping their relatives through Alzheimer’s or other conditions. And two were routine bills to aid 911 victims and responders which were sponsored by the entire NY delegation. Presently she is trying to have the US memorialize the Woodstock fiasco of 40 years ago.

    Here is what bothers me more than anything else about Hillary Clinton: She has done everything possible to weaken the President and our country (that’s you and me!) when it comes to the war on terror.

    1. She wants to close GITMO and move the combatants to the USA where they would have access to our legal system.

    2. She wants to eliminate the monitoring of suspected Al Qaeda phone calls to/from the USA .

    3. She wants to grant constitutional rights to enemy combatants captured on the battlefield.

    4. She wants to eliminate the monitoring of money transfers between suspected Al Qaeda cells and supporters in the USA .

    5. She wants to eliminate the type of interrogation tactics used by the military & CIA where coercion might be used when questioning known terrorists even though such tactics might save American lives.

    One cannot think of a single bill Hillary has introduced or a single comment she has made that would tend to strengthen our country in the War on Terror. But, one can think of a lot of comments she has made that weaken our country and make it a more dangerous situation for all of us. Bottom line: She goes hand in hand with the ACLU on far too many issues where common sense is abandoned.

    Share this with every democrat you know. Ask them to prove **** Morris wrong. Think about it — **** Morris has said all of this openly, thus if he were not truthful he’d be liable for defamation of character! And you better believe Hillary would sue him.

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