03:26 GMT +321 August 2019
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    People wait in the hall for the presidential debate between Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump

    'I Doubt That This Debate Changed Many Minds in Terms of How They're Gonna Vote'

    © AP Photo / David Goldman
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    Radio Sputnik discussed the presidential debates in the United States with David Schultz, a professor of political science at Hamline University in Minnesota and the author of Presidential Swing States: Why Only Ten Matter.

    “This was a really ugly debate in that public policy was not discussed very much in terms of terms of economy, global warming and foreign affairs. It was mostly insults and not informative to the public. I doubt that this debate will change very many minds in terms of how they are going to debate. If Trump’s goal was to win some women to his side, I don’t think he succeeded,” Schultz said.
    When asked about Hillary Clinton’s goal in that debate, he said that she tried not to do any harm.

    “She has a slight lead over Trump nationally in the polls and what is critically important, also in the so-called swing states.”

    “I think that at the end of the day she did a fairly good job. I wouldn’t say she outright won the debate although polls suggested that she did.”
    Schultz said that he thought Hillary Clinton had won the debate, though with a slight margin.

    “I think she did a better job outlining her position. I don’t think Trump did a good job when trying to describe what he was going to do if elected, even though he was a little bit more disciplined and better prepared than during the first debate.”

    Speaking about the way the Syrian crisis featured during the debate, Schultz said that Trump and his vice-presidential running mate Mike Pence seemed to have two different approaches as to how to address the Syrian crisis. Pence suggested increased American military action in Syria, while Trump focused on crushing [Daesh] and blamed Clinton for its emergence.

    “But I didn’t hear any outlined plan. Clinton, on the other hand, talked more about multilateral international action in Syria, about sending military instructors, to address the situation as mainly a humanitarian crisis and take in more refugees.”

    When asked how the email scandal could affect Clinton’s chances for election, Schultz said that this could have a potentially very damaging effect in terms of her speeches to Wall Street, about free trade and about Wall Street regulating itself.

    “What really is the issue right now is that we probably have 95 percent of voters who have already made up their mind, so it’s really the question of how these revelations will affect the remaining five percent who still haven’t made a decision how to vote,” he said.

    He added that in the US voters often decide at the very last moment who to vote for and start to pay attention to the campaign as they get closer to Election Day.

    As for Hillary Clinton’s readiness to negotiate with Moscow despite her aggressive anti-Russian rhetoric, David Schultz said that time would show because in the past she used to talk much about how she wanted to engage with Putin and Russia.

    However, neither Clinton nor Trump has managed to produce or outline a framework for a conversation with Russia on the situation with Syria and the need to fight terrorism.

    “As a former Secretary of State, Clinton has a track record to fall upon. As for Trump, I really don’t know what kind of an approach he is going to take.

    “On the one hand, he talks about his good relations with Putin. On the other hand, on issues concerning Syria, Assad, Iran he seems to be taking positions that would put the US in significant conflict with Russian interests.”

    When asked who would eventually come out on top, Schultz said that “Probably Secretary Clinton, but we have about 30 days to go, it’s a very close race, but polls say that Clinton has more money in the campaign, a better organization.”

    “If we have a relatively high voter turnout, this would bode well for Clinton, but she really has to work hard to convince young people, people of color if she can do what she wants to do,” David Schultz said in conclusion.


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