This evening at 9pm EST at Hofstra University, Long Island, the highly anticipated first of three presidential debates between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is expected to be one of the most watched political debates of all time.
Media observers are predicting this to break records and perhaps will reach more than 100 million viewers. The debate is set to be broadcast on numerous US television networks as well as being streamed on a plethora of global news and social media sites.
Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have all partnered up with various coverage services to stream the 90-minute uninterrupted debate, live for the world to watch. Snapchat, not wanting to miss the party have setup a ‘live story’ to cover the debate. As well as that you can find the debate live on Buzzfeed, The Huffington Post, Fox News, BBC, Yahoo, CNN, NBS, Wall Street Journal and plenty of others.
Don’t worry though, if you can’t catch the debate live there is almost definitely set to be controversial sound-bites, outrageous quotes, and gifs of finger pointing posted online moments after the debate gets going.
After over a year of far from scandal-free campaigning by both candidates, it seemed Clinton was marginally winning the race to become the 45th President of the United States. However, as early votes, polls and surveys begin it seems to be growingly competitive, making this debate far from simply a TV-spectacle and actually an opportunity for both candidates to convince the US electorate to vote for them come 8th November.
Considering how close the polls are now suggesting it is, this will be the perfect time to eradicate the lack of favourability both candidates have following endless scandals. Of course Clinton is still suffering from scandals from her husband’s time in the Oval Office. However, recently has been plagued by her alleged misuse of a personal email server, which became a key point at the Republican National Convention. Whereas, Trump’s campaign has been surrounded by scandal and controversy relating to corruption, racism, misogamy, xenophobia and others.
Trump has focused his policies and campaign on immigration, security and trade deals. Whilst his Democrat opponent, Hillary Clinton’s campaign has looked at the debts of lower-income families, human rights issues, tax reforms and the continuation of Obamacare.
Clinton is marginally coming out on top at the moment with 51.5% of the vote. However, these debates could be crucial for her to clinch the victory, or conversely for Trump to convince people away from Clinton and instead to him.
Can Trump demonstrate he is actually fit to take up the Oval Office? Despite controversy following him, Trump has been able to effectively harness the desire for change in the country amongst portions of the electorate who consider themselves to be outside ‘the elite’ who feel the economic upswing. However, surveys show the majority of Americans still believe he is unqualified to even be running. Furthermore, will Trump be able to ‘perform’ on TV for an uninterrupted 90 minutes without needing to be saved. During the Republican primary race, Trump benefited from sharing a stage with his fellow runners who all begged for airtime. Whereas, during this evening’s debate, it will be just Trump versus Clinton and without any form of prompt or assistance.
Can Clinton hide her contempt and disappointment at being locked in such a close race with such a contemptible, unlikeable man? If so, she will need to overcome the trust issues many voters have with her considering her and her husband’s own scandals. Similarly, she must convince her on-the-fence voters, and do it so whilst accepting that in comparison to her opponent, she represents the detested political class.
Wherever you are in the world and whatever time-zone you’re in, the debate is set to be fascinating and will be well-worth staying up/waking up for.