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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Your guide to watching the first presidential debate

Sam Gross
Left: Donald Trump speaking at his rally in Tucson on Saturday March 19. Right: Hillary Clinton speaking at her rally in Phoenix on Monday March 21.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will share the stage Sept. 26, facing off in the first of three scheduled presidential debates.

The debate will air Monday at 6 p.m. on the major news networks. NBC News’ Lester Holt will moderate the debate.

The Commission on Presidential Debates announced that the debate will consist of six 15-minute sections segments. The 90 minutes will be filled with a discussion of topics selected by Holt.

The three selected topics are America’s direction, achieving prosperity and securing America. 

Each topic will be debated on for two of the 15-minute sections.

The UA College Republicans will be hosting an off-campus debate viewing event in conjunction with the Pima County GOP. 

The event will begin at 6 p.m. at the Viscount Suites Hotel, according to Sebastian Laguna, president of the UA College Republicans.

The UA Young Democrats will be hosting a viewing party at 5:30 p.m. just off campus at 1937 E. Silver St., according to UA Young Democrats’ President Allison Childress. 

The Associated Students of the University of Arizona will be also be hosting a viewing party at the Gallagher Theater in the Student Union  Memorial Center from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

Laguna said this debate will be a real comparison between two different people who have two very different visions for the country.

“One is doubling down on the past eight years of economic stagnation and the other the one is bringing change and it will be a clarifying moment for people,” Laguna said.

Childress said Clinton, the democrat nominee, will do very well at the debate and that this debate provides her the opportunity to demonstrate how knowledgeable she is on the issues that matter.

Gary Johnson, the presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party, and Jill Stein, the presidential nominee of the Green Party, will not be able to be judged by students since they will not included in the debate.

To be eligible to participate in a debate, candidates are required to be polling at a minimum of 15 percent in at least five different national polls. 

Neither Johnson or Stein met the mark for this first debate.

Matt Lauer drew widespread criticism after moderating a town hall event hosted by NBC. 

The hashtag #LaueringTheBar began trending on Twitter with users expressing their frustration over his lines of questioning and lack of follow up questions on important issues.

William Dixon, a professor in the School of Government and Public Policy, said the example of Lauer will not be lost on Holt.

Laguna noted Holt, who is a registered republican in the state of New York, has already drawn criticism from the Trump campaign.

Both Laguna and Childress said they expect him to remain fair and pursue both candidates on the important issues.

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The race is tightening and the significance of the debate remains unclear, according to Dixon.

He said Clinton is a very good debater and Trump is so ad-lib and off-the-cuff, it’s hard to know how the debate will go. 

Dixon said after every debate, the political party touts its candidate’s performance, and If independent analysts agree on a winner or are divided, that provides added insight into the significance of the debate.

Childress said she believes the general winner of the debate should be determined by each individual voter. 

Laguna said it is important for everyone to watch and listen to this debate to consider which candidate is most in tune with the American people’s concerns.

Laguna said every vote counts and UA students should vote regardless of how they feel about the debate results or the presidential candidates so that their voices are heard.

Follow Randall Eck on Twitter.

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