Share This Article with a Friend!

Presidential Horse Race 2016: Third presidential debate proves Donald Trump will win or lose as himself

There was a sense of finality in the air as Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton took the stage in Las Vegas on Wednesday night for their third and final debate of the 2016 presidential race with both candidates appearing anxious to get the discussion started so they could do their ninety minutes and get it over with.

Just like with the second debate there was no handshake between the competitors. The dislike between these Third presidential debatecandidates has clearly reached the level of the Bengals-Steelers rivalry in the NFL.

Unlike in the second debate ten days ago there wasn’t a great deal of tension over any particular news story going into the evening, though from the outset Trump seemed a little bothered by continually having to explain himself over events that took place long before Barack Obama ever took the oath of office intent on “fundamentally changing” the United States.

The whole notion of “change” was attractive back then, at least to the hopelessly uninformed ends-oriented lightweights that make up the base of the Democrat party. “Change” is a dirty word to the Democrats these days, however, since they’ve become a party that would be all-too happy to keep things the way they are so one of the most corrupted and for-sale individuals of all time can continue dishing out favors and bypassing Congress to achieve their sinister objectives.

Such was the backdrop for Wednesday evening. The debate format was exactly the same as the first debate with the two candidates standing behind lecterns opposite each other. I personally prefer the town hall-style debates since they seem a little more authentic with questions coming from the audience and the candidates being compelled to address someone other than the moderator.

Instead, the questions on Wednesday night came from Fox News’s Chris Wallace. Seeing as Wallace works for Fox News you would think he would be more intent on getting to the bottom of some of Hillary’s more recent scandals. For the most part, he did. Wallace was tough but fair and didn’t “fact check” the way Lester Holt or Martha Raddatz did and stayed out of the way to allow the candidates to go at each other.

And go at each other they did. I thought Hillary was especially nasty and vindictive throughout the debate, a curious strategy considering she’s supposedly ahead in the polls. I predicted she would even mention Ronald Reagan a couple times in her answers… and she did!

But for the most part I thought Hillary came across as angry and condescending, barely hiding her contempt for Trump and conservatives through her phony smile numerous times.

All in all I think both candidates made their cases pretty well. If there was a proverbial “scorecard,” it would be fairly even. Trump made the arguments for altering the status quo and Hillary passionately advocated for staying the course. Clinton can’t distinguish her plan from the Obama administration's and doesn’t even try. To the extent that’s a winning argument, we’ll find out in a couple weeks.

Seeing as Hillary has been completely absent from the campaign trail this week she looked fresh and raring to go, the rest apparently having done her good. I’m guessing maybe the Democrats will put her on ice for the remaining time in the campaign, probably correctly believing surrogates like Michelle Obama and the president himself could do a much better job of rousing the socialist masses to vote for her.

Hillary herself inspires no one, except for maybe her loyal following in the news media.

After the debate, the pundits made hay over the fact Trump refused to say whether he would accept the result of the election, a basic non-issue that generates a lot of shock and outrage from the pundit class but the public simply doesn’t care about. If people are so consumed with “accepting” fraud, then maybe they shouldn’t participate in the first place.

Surveys show at least half of Americans are furious at government, don’t trust it and are even afraid of it. Under those circumstances, why would people accept the results without at least looking into the validity?

Trump made several excellent points concerning Hillary’s advocacy for open borders (through a Wikileaks dump), her lifelong advocacy for abortion on demand including babies who are nearly full-term and the matter of her people purposely disrupting Trump rallies (as exposed by the Project Veritas tapes).

On the whole it was clear Trump “did his homework” for this debate as the pundits would say. Unlike the first debate where Trump wasn’t able to attack Clinton with specifics, he pulled out quotes from John Podesta and Bernie Sanders to assail Clinton’s “fitness” for office. Well done.

I think Trump’s weakest point came when he temporarily deflected a question on his economic plan in order to talk about Japan and paying for national defense, which I’m guessing didn’t go over well with people who were really paying attention.

But in the end, I don’t think it will matter. Trump was much more calm and collected than he has been in previous debates and on style points, he had his strongest performance.

I thought going into the debate that Trump would need to be humble in order to help soften his image and look more “presidential,” something that’s been missing of late. Trump will always be Trump and he’s gotten this far from telling it like it is and touting his considerable business and worldly experience as reasons people should vote for him.

But it’s become clear, especially in the wake of the media’s fixation on spurious matters that the only way Trump is going to win now is to convince people that he isn’t the issue and his policies will bring real change to the country in areas that desperately need to be rescued from the disastrous fiscal and social mess that Obama and Hillary have created.

America will be made “great again” by bringing back constitutional government and having men and women in office who remember that it’s the People who are in charge, not their own special interests.

In what turned out to be the final question of the final debate, Chris Wallace asked each candidate to give a one-minute closing argument in support of their candidacies.

Clinton went first and gave her standard answer (paraphrasing), “I’m reaching out to all Americans. We need everyone. I’ve been privileged to see the presidency up close. I’ve made the cause of children and families my life’s work…”

Simply put, more boilerplate bull-crap that we’ve heard from Clinton and all politicians that’s a bunch of fluff directed at women voters that doesn’t say anything meaningful but sounds nice.

That’s the one thing Hillary is good at: soundbites.

Trump gave an excellent answer that summed up his campaign. Again paraphrasing, he said “She’s raising the money from people she wants to control. When I started this campaign I said ‘Make America Great Again.’ We don’t take care of our veterans. We take care of illegal immigrants. I will do more for African-Americans and Latinos than she can do in ten lifetimes.

‘We cannot take four more years of Barack Obama and that’s what you get when you have her.’”

If Trump had stuck to that message throughout the campaign and in the three debates, I can’t help but think he’d be ahead, because that’s a summation of what this election is all about.

This country is bogged down in the kind of malaise that brought down Jimmy Carter in 1980. In that election, Ronald Reagan presented a message of hope for something better – more economic growth, a stronger military and a reason to be proud of America again.

Donald Trump is no Ronald Reagan, but his message is similar. And Trump made the case for ending the Obama/Clinton malaise on Wednesday night. If America is “mature” enough to get beyond the stupid side issues that mean nothing in this election, Trump very well could win.

We’ll find out in two and a half weeks.

Post-election, there will be a reckoning for the loudest of the #NeverTrump squawkers

While there’s really no way of determining at this point how last night’s debate will affect the polls or the overall mood of the country in terms of the presidential race, there are a couple things we know for sure now that all of the “official” campaign forum events have concluded.

First, whether conservatives like it or not, the Democrats and Donald Trump’s Republican enemies have successfully made this election into a referendum on the GOP nominee’s character and personality rather than Crooked Hillary’s sordid dealings throughout her 30 years in public life or any connection to the real issues.

The media appears gleeful whenever they report on a new poll showing Trump’s favorability tanking with women, a result that seems completely driven by the amount of coverage devoted to side issues such as groping and “locker room” language. Heck, I’ve seen more stories about Billy Bush (the other voice on the infamous audio tape) recently than I have about Hillary’s escape from the FBI investigation into her illegal private email server.

It’s been said a lot lately that journalism is dead. If you check the headlines of the dwindling number of major newspapers, that’s certainly the case.

And it's more than a little ironic that what could ultimately take down Trump is some sort of sex-related scandal considering Bill and Hillary Clinton were the ones that first introduced sexual and marital impropriety as a major political issue.

Running against the unimpeachable character of George H.W. Bush in the early 90’s, Bill Clinton’s legendary libido became a topic of national discussion and unfortunately the media has only fanned the flames of tawdry fascination with candidates’ personal histories ever since.

Remember all those stories about George W. Bush’s partying younger days at Yale complete with drinking photos?

Politics has never been the same since the Clintons hit the national scene. It almost makes the 1988 election seem like the last one where everyone actually focused solely on the issues.

And the second “certainty” that will come from this race is a future reckoning for the #NeverTrump contingent – or at least the ones who have spent months publicly tearing down Trump and his supporters.

With the election just two and a half weeks away, the #NeverTrumpers are in their glory, seemingly bathing in the rash of poor Trump poll numbers of late. It only stands to infuriate those of us in the #NeverHillary contingent – and we’ll remember their antics after this is all done.

After gloating about how Trump is doing so poorly that he could conceivably lose red states like Georgia and Texas next month, Erick Erickson writes in a post titled “You Don’t Want to Read This” at The Resurgent, “In both the cases of Georgia and Texas, I think Donald Trump ultimately wins. But there are a couple of things to consider. First, Donald Trump really is an amazingly bad nominee. Second, when Donald Trump is already telling people that the election is being rigged and stolen, he takes away his voters’ incentive to even participate in the process.”

Erickson is wrong on both accounts. Trump isn’t a bad nominee as much as the media and #NeverTrumpers are celebrating his demise before it even happens. All of the recent coverage has been negative and of course the Republican anti-Trump crowd is only adding to the problem. Further, Trump’s claims of a “rigged” election will not dampen turnout – it will do just the opposite, because people are genuinely fed up with the system.

And Hillary is the system.

Erickson continued, “The Georgia dynamic, about which I am most familiar, is very problematic for the Trump campaign. Trump is winning parts of Georgia outside metro-Atlanta by 20%, but he is losing the metro-Atlanta area by more than 20%. He is losing women in the metro-Atlanta area by more than 30%. Wealthy Republicans, empty-nest Republicans, and moderates are either voting third party or they are voting Clinton.”

Assuming all of this is true, what is there to crow about here, Erick? That Trump is losing the battle to convince certain demographic groups that he’s not a cad and lead general in the “War on women?” Would it really be better if some other Republican were in his place? How about Evan McMullin? Has he been vetted?

Mitt Romney lost the women vote too and everyone would agree Romney is nothing like Trump – except he’s a rich guy and a Republican. The Democrats would find a way to paint any Republican nominee in the same negative light and to the hopelessly uninformed in the American electorate (who get their news from CNN or Facebook), they buy into it.

And so do the #NeverTrumpers, which brings me to my next example. In a post titled “Seriously, Why Did We Give Up On Replacing Trump On The GOP Ticket?”, Caleb Howe concludes a lengthy post at RedState, “If you can't give up, at least make your last effort valiant and noble. Don't debase yourself with Trump. Go out fighting to replace him at the top of the ticket, go out trying to face Hillary with someone worth standing behind. Be a real conservative American Republican, ascend from the sewer where Trump lives, and stand in the daylight again.

“Die with your boots on.

“And Mr. Trump, go out like a hero. Don't divide America further. Don't destroy the conservative movement further. Don't undermine our electoral process further. I mean, unless a Hillary victory is really what you wanted all along. It isn't ... is it?”

Donald Trump hasn’t withdrawn from the presidential race because he still believes in the things he articulated sixteen months ago when he announced his candidacy. You know, the issues. “Make America Great Again.” “America doesn’t win anymore.”

Those don’t sound like values derived from living in a “sewer” as Howe described it.

Donald Trump isn’t a perfect human being by any means but he’s not the nefarious slime-ball that the media and #NeverTrumpers have made him out to be. Frankly, the character assassination is patently unfair. Trump doesn’t deserve it and neither would any Republican who was put in his place. The left wouldn’t stop their assaults just because Mike Pence or someone else was in Trump’s place.

The “war” would go on, because all the left cares about is victory. It’s a shame that Erickson, Howe and the #NeverTrumpers don’t realize this. And for that reason, there will be a day of reckoning for all of them.

If you had to bet, who would you put money on to win the election?

Perhaps it’s ironic that the third and final presidential debate between Trump and Hillary took place in a gambler’s paradise like Las Vegas because there’s been a lot of overseas betting activity lately on the American presidential race – and the somewhat surprising thing is the smart money is moving into Donald Trump’s column.

It almost looks like wise foreigners are seeing something the American media doesn’t want to recognize.

James Moore of The Independent (UK) reports, “Despite a calamitous week of campaigning, betting markets on the US election are almost a mirror image of those on Britain’s EU referendum at this stage. And they could be pointing to a victory for Donald Trump.

“Bookmaker William Hill says 71 percent of the money so far staked is for Democrat Hillary Clinton. But 65 percent of the bets by number are for the controversial Republican.

“That means a lot more punters are putting smaller bets on Trump, almost exactly the same pattern as was seen in the run up to the Brexit vote when the money was for Remain but the majority of bets were for Leave.”

Maybe the foreign “punters” are noticing the same things I’ve been observing, namely the contest being led by an incredibly flawed establishment candidate who isn’t well-liked and doesn’t offer anything in this election other than she’s not Trump and promises more of the non-stop federal goodie parade to her constituents.

This is the same line of thinking that’s led me to conclude for months that the vast majority of late-deciders in this election will move towards Trump like they did in the United Kingdom in favoring a break-up with the European Union. With more and more of the major media acting as though the election is already over these days – I think it will only accelerate the trend.

If Hillary weren’t such an awful candidate relying on a strategy of “stay out of sight at all costs,” the calculations of the betters might be different. But she’s not. And I believe the supposedly formidable Democrat turnout operation will fall short of projections as well, simply because people aren’t enthused about Hillary.

Even those lifelong Democrats I’ve talked to recently aren’t excited by her. They’re still going to vote for her, of course, but it takes a lot of internal inspiration to perform an assertive act like voting. I’m “betting” the Obama coalition (young voters, Hispanics and African-Americans) is going to be down substantially this year, which will automatically subtract several points from Hillary’s lead.

Meanwhile, I think the Trump turnout will be much larger than the pundits predict simply because there are a lot of voters out there who are sitting on their support for change – or are just saying they’re not sure they’re going to vote. They will end up voting and I’m thinking it will be for Trump.

When all of this is combined with what I anticipate will be a strong final couple weeks from the Trump campaign, the polls will narrow and suddenly some of these states that have been written off of late come back into play.

The old saying goes, “Put your money where your mouth is.” Well, in Britain at least, they’re doing it.

Military voters favor Donald Trump over Crooked Hillary by a two-to-one margin

Finally today, Donald Trump may not enjoy tremendous support from certain American voting blocs, but there’s one group where he clearly dominates – with military personnel.

Rebecca Kheel of The Hill reports, “Donald Trump leads among military voters, but his support has slipped among military women after a series of sexual misconduct allegations, a new poll says.

“Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, has 40 percent support among active-duty troops, the joint Military Times/Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families survey found.

“Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson comes in second with 27 percent, with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton at 20.6 percent.”

Trump’s support is actually up two percent from last month’s survey, while Johnson’s is down ten percent.

The poll results certainly help explain the scowls of contempt on the faces of many of the military members in the audience at the “Commander-in-Chief” forum a month ago. If only twenty percent of those folks favored Hillary (and they all got to ask questions, it seems), then everyone else was most decidedly against her.

The Military Times/Syracuse University survey results actually make a lot of sense. As a member of the military, quite literally your existence is in the hands of the president. And who in their right mind would want to place their life or livelihood under Hillary’s control?

Hillary callously mishandled classified information, she lied about the cover-up of the Benghazi attack, she used her positions of authority in government to enrich herself and is openly disrespectful of millions of American citizens (the “deplorables”), the very same people the military is tasked with protecting and defending.

On top of all that, Hillary’s much more likely than Trump to place the military in harm’s way by entering into another fruitless war, complete with restrictive, politically correct rules of engagement and an ill-defined mission, probably meant to satisfy some large donor to the Clinton Foundation.

Frankly, I’m surprised the number of military members who support Hillary is as high as 20 percent. That poll must be skewed too!

In all seriousness, there’s no group in America that commands more respect than the United States military. Donald Trump has always spoken reverently about them and backed up his words with genuine affection and promises to not waste their lives unnecessarily.

Trump’s love of America was revealed once again during Wednesday night’s debate. One can only hope that the days and weeks ahead will help people realize that America needs a leader who loves his country and respects it the way Trump does.

Share this