Cedarville professor weighs in on debate aftermath

Five on 2

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — After a contentious debate between President Trump and former Vice President Biden in Cleveland, the Commission on Presidential Debates is considering new tools to help add structure future debates.

Dr. Mark Caleb Smith, director of political studies at Cedarville University, said that Tuesday’s debate was historic, “but not in all the best ways.” Adding that as a citizen he was disappointed in the events that transpired.

“You really want your presidential candidates to inspire people, to show that this country is worth leading and that we can have confidence in them. It really didn’t look like that last night,” Smith said.

When asked whether the president managed to sway voters from outside of his base, Smith said Trump mostly played to that 30 to 40 percent of the electorate he already had.

“I think the president was probably hoping he could rattle Joe Biden to the point where Biden would stumble and struggle, and that might then open the door for President Trump to win more of those voters,” Smith said. “Since that strategy failed, then I think the president’s efforts did not amount to much yesterday.”

Smith said that he is interested in seeing how Biden’s behavior influences polling and whether his remarks about the president will sway independent voters come Election Day.

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