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Alan Stock: What to Look for in the Final Presidential Debate

By Alan Stock

What should you expect to see in the third and final Presidential debate?

First, Hillary will goad Trump.  During the last two debates, she has trolled to see if he would bite.  He did.

Second, when she goads him, will he bite?  And, the question really is “how” will be bite?

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For instance, if she mentions the infamous Trump/Billy Bush tapes, will he go wild and just begin to attack Bill Clinton and Hillary’s defense of Bill?  Or will be say something to the effect of:

“You know I could talk about the rape accusations against your husband and your willingness to attack those abused women instead of giving them the benefit of doubt which contradicts your stated willingness to believe women when they make such claims…you know I could talk about these issues and embarrass you something fierce, but instead I’m going to lay out specifics about (choose the issue).”

If Trump takes that direction, he comes off presidential, poised and in control.  If he doesn’t choose that kind of response and instead goes for the jugular, the blood she bleeds may well splash all over him.

This debate is Trump’s opportunity to overtake Hillary in a big way, turn all the numbers in his favor and put himself on the path to victory.

Hillary is a wonk who knows numbers and knows how to debate.  She will go after Trump with everything she’s got.  The question for her is just how far over the line will she go?  Will she spend too much time harping on Trump’s braggadocio and outrageous comments?  Will she come off arrogant and aggressive or transform into a kind of poised stateswoman such as Margaret Thatcher?

Whoever wins this debate will be elevated on the road to victory. Which isn’t to say that whoever is elevated won’t necessarily commit errors that reduces their numbers or wind up having to respond to revelations that seem to be waiting in the curtains to be introduced at just the right moment.

Based on the past two debates and the tenor of this campaign, I believe most American voters expect to see a blood bath which does not further the betterment of our nation.




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