|Presidential debate, Sept. 26, 2016 (Photo: Getty Images)|
Debates typically reinforce current trends, but this debate had a host of new factors that not only gave it a record audience, but made it high theater.
- Woman candidate
- Celebrity provocateur
- One-point race with fluid voters
In the stages of debates, the expectation game, the actual exchange, the early commentaries and the secondary analyses, Trump is behind with the immediate post-speech talking heads and the first polls in. CNN reports people believed he lost 62 percent to 27 percent, and importantly, independents broke for Hillary Clinton 54 percent to 33 percent. Among those voters who say it moved their vote, Clinton won 34 percent to 18 percent for Trump. AOL did an online poll that gave it to Clinton 55 percent to 45 percent Trump.
There are still two more debates and more than 40 days of campaigning, but Trump missed probably his best chance to put the race away.
September started as a disaster for Clinton, culminating in the September 11 stumble, but the month ended with the September 26 Trump choke.
Chokes: A word Donald Trump introduced to the presidential rhetoric in reference to Mitt Romney’s 2012 run and Marco Rubio’s debate performance.