Are the debates swaying student opinion?


Jeff Pittman, Staff Writer

With the Presidential Debates now a part of history, many views and opinions have already been influenced. But how have the debates impacted the views of Utica College students?

As demonstrated in the first debate, both candidates Trump and Clinton answered questions regarding how they plan to lead the country. However, because both candidates embrace distinctive qualities and opinions, some UC students are unsure who to vote for.

“Growing up I never cared about the election, but now because I know it impacts my future I feel it’s important to have a say,” Andrew Mazzatti said. “I feel the past two debates opened my eyes to not only the problems our country is facing but the candidates’ personalities as well.”

Both personalities were a common topic among students.

For some students, their opinions on Trump swayed negatively after the first two debates. Students thought that Trump showed a lot of unprofessionalism when debating. Constantly interrupting the hosts and opposing candidate was generally seen as rude.

Others had a more favorable opinion of Clinton following the second debate.

Students explained that Clinton showed professionalism and conducted herself in a well-mannered fashion. Though her ideas and responses were not all agreeable, her ability to address the country with respect was one of many things that swung the opinions of UC students.

“Going into these debates, I didn’t know who to vote for,” Chris Marks said. “Both candidates had positives and negatives qualities, but Trump showed that he is not a politician. Trump was very unprofessional and his reputation as a man is hurting him dearly.”

The second presidential debate took place on Oct. 9 and was held in a town hall format with audience members asking questions directly to the candidates.

Many of the issues surrounding this debate stemmed from the release of an audio recording in which Trump was heard having a lewd conversation with recently fired “Today” show host Billy Bush. On the tape Trump is heard bragging about instances where he sexually assaulted women.

“Donald Trump’s discussion of making unwanted sexual advances toward women, and his campaign’s response, has virtually eliminated any chance of victory,” Luke Perry said. “Hillary Clinton is primed to win by a substantial margin of Electoral College votes and Democrats may regain control of the Senate.”

Perry, associate professor of government and politics, was in Las Vegas for two days before the third debate and attended pre debate events. He was not able to attend the actual debate but he did watch and live tweet.

“Like most of the campaign, Trump’s closing statement overly focused on opponent’s flaws than his abilities,” said Perry, in a tweet.

Trump again made headlines when he accused the Clinton campaign of orchestrating the claims of sexual harassment against him. He also claimed that his accusers might be seeking fame through their accusations.

Just weeks away, the election is right around the corner. It’s time for UC students to make their voices heard – just as the candidates did during the debates.