The official 2016 Presidential Debates are finally here, and both of the nominees have plenty on their plates.
According to the latest polls, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is neck and neck with GOP opponent Donald Trump going into Monday’s first round of discussions, so the way each candidate handle themselves will play huge roles in determining who comes out on top in November.
In anticipation of the first face off, here are three things to watch for:
1. How Will Newcomer Trump Behave?
Donald Trump is entering the presidential debates as rookie and the clear cut underdog given his lack of experience in politics and reputation as a more of a rich reality star than a suitable choice for leader of the free world. In light of these facts, Trump will be faced with the challenge of convincing voters that he can not only hold his own against an experienced politician, but also has what it takes to transition out of the celebrity spotlight and into the White House.
Trump wants to reach those voters who won’t want to vote for Clinton but are worried about his temperament. Does that mean the new “teleprompter Trump” will show up tonight? He has proven that he can maintain a little more discipline in a set-piece speech, but there are no teleprompters in a 90-minute debate.
2. How will Clinton step up to the plate and meet the high expectations many have for her?
While going into a presidential debate with the upper hand certainly has its’ advantages, Hillary Clinton also has a monstrous task ahead of her in living up to what’s expected from her as the more experienced nominee. Many are expecting Trump to fall short, but a dropped ball on Clinton’s part could prove much more detrimental at the polls in November. In addition, as is the case with many powerful women who are unafraid to stand firm their intelligence and exercise confidence in their well-documented superiority when being challenged by an abrasive male counterpart, Clinton will also have to navigate through those who still perceive assertiveness in women as a negative, according to NPR.
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3. What role will the moderator play in how each candidate is perceived?
The job of the moderator is the most important one present during the debate. Both Trump and Clinton’s campaigns have taken issue with the moderators and the media during the primary debates this summer. Trump’s campaign has argued that the debate system is “rigged” against him and accused tonight’s moderator Lester Holt of being biased. Meanwhile, the Clinton campaign feels the media goes out of their way to equalize her faults or shortcomings with that of Trump’s, even in situations when it clear that one far outweighs the other.
Will you be tuning in?