LAS VEGAS (AP) — Graduate student and Chicago native Sparkle Payne took the scene in stride as she crossed the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, campus after psychology class.

“This is the biggest, most controversial debate. Hillary and Donald Trump at the Thomas & Mack,” Payne said. “It’s huge.”

Payne didn’t plan to attend the debate, but wanted “everyone to tune in to see how much of an ass Trump is.”

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Security was tight, and some roads leading to campus were closed. But classes continued during the day.

Uniformed police from Las Vegas and surrounding cities bunched in groups of six and eight in the campus quad, chatting with each other. Most had riot-gear packs strapped to their thighs.

Media and the first spectators gathered in front of the Thomas & Mack Center, where parking lots were bordered with a two-story barrier of tan metal shipping crates.


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