2016 Archives

Politics: 3rd debate quick analysis

A fight to the finish

October 20, 2016

DALLAS (SMU)To assist journalists who covered Wednesday night’s presidential debate, SMU election experts are providing real-time insights throughout the evening.

 

TRUMP’S REFUSAL TO ACCEPT ELECTION’S OUTCOME A HUGE ERROR

Matthew WilsonMATTHEW WILSON
jmwilson@smu.edu

On Trump refusing to say he’d accept the election’s outcome…

  • “The biggest moment of this debate will be Trump’s equivocation on whether he’d accept the results of the election. That will dominate media coverage and is probably the final nail in the coffin of his campaign. It does, though, feed the conspiratorial grievance of the supporters who will watch the TV network that he likely plans to launch.”
  • “Refusing to say he’ll accept the results of the election is bad for Trump. He needs to go along with Pence and Ivanka and accept the legitimacy of the electoral system. Trump was doing well in this debate until he refused to concede electoral legitimacy. If you want to claim fraud afterwards, with evidence, fine. But preemptively? That doesn’t play well.”

On the closing arguments…

  • “There was a real contrast in the closing statements. Clinton was positive and encouraging while Trump went on the attack. That’s because she’s winning right now and he’s losing.”

On whether Chris Wallace is playing fair…

  • “I’m surprised Chris Wallace let Clinton off the hook on Bill’s accusers. Why should Trump’s accusers be respected and believed but not Bill’s?”

On whether Trump admires Putin and Assad…

  • “There has been discussion here tonight of Trump ‘praising’ Putin and Assad. He denies it. I think they’re talking past each other. He often says they are strong, effective leaders who have been strategically successful. Is that praising despots, or just respecting your adversary’s strengths and capabilities?”

Wilson is an SMU associate professor of Political Science with specific expertise in politics and religion

 

TRUMP STICKS TO GUNS, REFUSES TO SAY HE’LL ACCEPT OUTCOME

Stephanie MartinSTEPHANIE MARTIN
samartin@mail.smu.edu

On Trump calling Clinton, “Such a nasty woman…”

  • “There are two things that will probably dominate coverage: Trump’s remark that he would have to wait and see if he would accept the outcome of the election, and his interruption to call Clinton, ‘such a nasty woman.’ This will likely overshadow what was his best performance in the three debates.”
  • “Clinton, on the other hand, gave a very good performance, and was especially strong in her answers on the sex scandal and on the economy.”

On Trump’s accidental assist of Clinton…

  • “Trump also prevented Clinton – by interrupting her – from doing any self-harm on the Clinton foundation and the emails. That was a big favor.”

On Trump refusing to say he’d accept the election’s outcome…

  • “It’s dangerous for Trump to suggest he won’t accept the election outcome, not only for the country, but for his electoral chances. I may be too idealistic, but to use a now-common refrain from this election, outside his so-called ‘angry base,’ most Americans are deeply proud of American democracy and think in idyllic terms about the founding, elections and peaceful transfers of power. There is a kind of reverence for this notion that even when you lose, you lose with grace. Trump is refusing to hold himself up to this ideal. I don’t see how this helps his cause, and it certainly gives some pause for what the post-election days could hold.”

Martin is an SMU assistant professor of Communication Studies in the Meadows School of the Arts

 

TRUMP SCORES POINTS WITH FOREIGN POLICY

Ben VothBEN VOTH
bvoth@smu.edu

On the debate’s biggest moment…

  • “Hillary’s biggest moment was when she defended women against Trump’s comments against them. Trump’s biggest moment was his analysis of Syria. That was his strongest point of the night.”

On who won the debate…

  • “Trump hit on resonant points for his base and the audience interruptions demonstrate his strength in those areas. I think Trump won this debate. It was one of his best performances yet.”

On Trump scoring points with foreign policy…

  • “Trump’s details and analysis regarding Iran and Russia was an exceptionally informed answer. It showed a lot of growth from primary debates.”

Voth is SMU’s director of debate and an associate professor of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs

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