The Next Presidential Debate Will Include Something New and Unusual

By Ryan Kurpess

The Second Presidential Debate, which takes place on October 9th at Washington University in St. Louis, MO, will allow Americans to submit and vote on questions, much like a town meeting. While half of the questions will be posed by American citizen participants, the other half will be based on broad public interest throughout the internet and social media. Considering the amount of complaints and suggestions made throughout the internet by American citizens, looking at trending topics seems like a valid option. This will not only allow Americans to weigh-in, but it will also help address their most prominent concerns since only the most popular questions will be considered.

American citizens are able to submit and vote on questions through www.PresidentialOpenQuestions.com. Out of all the questions submitted and voted on, the 30 most popular will be considered by CNN and ABC when planning the debate. The town meeting participant roster will be made up of uncommitted voters and will be selected by the Gallup Organization. Each candidate is allowed two minutes to respond in addition to any further discussion facilitated for the moderator.

This debate is hugely important for Donald Trump, since it seems that Hillary Clinton won the first. According to CNN/ORC polls taken after the last debate, Hillary Clinton came out on top (62% to 27%) and roughly 70 percent of the individuals questioned believe she has a better understanding of the nation’s problems. Unfortunately for The Republicans, less than 30 percent of those asked said the same of Donald Trump and more than 50 percent said they do not believe he could handle the presidency.

With November nearing, Trump’s approval numbers are slipping while Hillary Clinton continues to win over voters. While the Democrats were already -215 favorites prior to the first debate, they have widened their lead even more to -250 over the Republican’s +190.

Considering Clinton has the lead in registered voters, the Republicans need to focus on likely voters narrowing the margin and tightening things up in key battleground states. Florida is also a main concern for both parties moving forward, considering the state holds 29 total electoral votes. Much like with 2000 election between George W. Bush and Al Gore, winning the popular vote is not the most decisive factor.

According to FiveThirtyEight.com, Florida’s tipping-point chance is more than 20 percent, ranking first out of all states.

Factors for Donald Trump

Donald Trump needs to thoroughly explain why he has yet to release his taxes, while making sure to answer all questions directly. Rumors surrounding Donald Trump’s taxes are likely to be talked about in the second debate and Trump has yet to come up with an actual answer as to why he refuses to release them. This is one of the top “Donald Trump stories” as of right now and is likely trending on social media as well. Additionally, Trump needs to be patient. According to fact checking done by ABC News, not only did Trump contribute significantly more interruptions throughout the debate, but he also accounted for more than 8,400 total words spoken in just 45 minutes, 3 seconds of talking time. Many of the interruptions made were also just Trump repeating the word “wrong” after accusations made by Clinton, without giving any actual reason as to why the statements were incorrect. Viewers are sure to see right through this and know that since Trump does not have an actual response, the accusations made are most likely truthful.

More in depth statistics show that at one point in the debate, Clinton was interrupted almost 20 times in only 10 minutes, which resulted in very short and un-thorough answers.

Additional statistics can be seen below:

Clinton: 9 total interruptions: one per 10:36 vs. Trump: 39 total interruptions: one per 2.27

Clinton: total time speaking 41:50 vs. Trump: total time speaking 45:03

Clinton: 6,119 total words spoken vs. Trump: 8,455 total words spoken

Clinton: 15.8 words per sentence and 4.3 letters per word (7.4 grade level) vs. Trump: 13.8 words per sentence and 4.2 letters per word (6.2 grade level)

Clinton: talked for 21 minutes, 33 seconds after an interruption and 20 minutes, 17 seconds before she was interrupted vs. Trump: roughly 90 percent of his speaking time went interrupted

Leading a nation requires patience and is not a job for a hot-head. Trump has been called out on his temperament many times in the past and did nothing but prove these claims to be true in the first debate.

When these two candidates meet again on October 9th, remaining calm regardless of allegations made towards them will be a huge factor. Considering the unusual format of this debate, it is likely that many of the questions voted on will put the candidates in a tough position and force them to defend themselves as best they can.

Ryan Kurpess is an OpsLens Contributor



FiveThirtyEight: (http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2016-election-forecast/

The New York Times: (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/03/upshot/florida-is-most-likely-to-be-the-election-tipping-point.html?_r=0)

The Atlantic: (http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/09/in-debate-two-the-questions-are-on-the-ballot/501791/)

Odds Shark: (http://www.oddsshark.com/entertainment/us-presidential-odds-2016-futures)

US Presidential Election News: (http://www.uspresidentialelectionnews.com/2016-debate-schedule/2016-presidential-debate-schedule/)

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