Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the respective presidential candidates of the Democrat and Republican parties, have arrived in St. Louis, MO for the second of three presidential debates. Much has transpired since the first debate, including the leak of the “Podesta Emails” by WikiLeaks (delivered to you directly from the inbox of Clinton’s campaign chairman) which included evidence that the Clinton campaign conspired with large banks, and footage of Donald Trump vociferously priding himself in his skills at committing sexual assault. With an awkward apology from Trump and a statement of “neither confirm nor deny” from Clinton, this week’s events have undoubtedly given both candidates plenty to think about in the wake of tonight’s debate.
This debate, as well as the following debate to take place on October 19, are crucial to both candidates who continue to see changing poll numbers. Arguably two of the most unpopular presidential candidates in decades, neither saw the drastic change that was expected after the first debate, and can use tonight as an opportunity to change the minds of undecided and independent voters. According to RealClearPolitics, there are currently 9 states (with a total of 113 electoral votes) whose likely voting outcome is impossible to determine, and polls have painted a very fuzzy picture of who is supporting who. The previous debate, as well as the vice presidential debate, also led to seemingly polarized results as supporters on both sides claimed victory and scrutinized the performance of the opposition.
Tonight’s performance will likely provide more insight than the first debate, as time before the election is beginning to run out, and desperation is beginning to set in on both sides. Trump’s 165 expected electoral votes are up against 260 of Clinton’s, and though it’s still far too early to speculate who this race may belong to, tonight’s event should turn out to be a determining factor in the eventual outcome.