Students share thoughts on how the final debate went and what the candidates could have done better


Participating in their second and final presidential debate before Election Day on Nov. 3, Republican President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden discussed COVID-19, American families, national security, leadership, climate change and race.NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker moderated the debate. According to the Washington Post, the second debate consisted of fewer interruptions but more attacks between the two candidates. 

Students watching the debate expressed their opinions on what happened. Communication major and junior Jayla Brown explained that the second presidential debate went better than the first one. 

“First off, they utilized the mute button. I felt like they could have used it a bit more, but it definitely helped to prevent the derailing of the debate,” Brown said. “I think the moderator was also great because she was firm in cutting off the two and moving the debate along. There were also less personal jabs between the two candidates.” 

But, Brown believes that the candidates could have done a better job on stage. 

“Trump walked around the questions and refused to address them head-on. Trump also needed to stop attacking Biden’s character and actions,” Brown said. “After the first two jabs, he should have realized that it was not effective and was making him seem uneducated after Biden corrected him with proven facts. Thirdly, he needs to stop exaggerating facts and contributing to misinformation and disinformation.” 

Brown also said that she was shocked at Trump’s statement about being “the least racist person in the room” in front of a Black moderator. 

“I was even more shocked when he said he couldn’t see the audience because it was ‘dark,’” Brown said. “This is a statement often used as a part of racist monologues about the color of African American skin.” 

As for Biden, Brown thought he could have been more clear with his words.

“He seems to struggle with coming up with words to describe what he is thinking,” Brown said. “Sometimes his words contradict each other, making people confused about his policies. He has a slower talking pace and often puts his foot in his mouth.” 

Brown hopes that this final debate helped to solidify people’s opinions on who to cast their vote for. 

“I think that the debate is a great way for people to head each candidates’ stances on issues and figure out what issues and changes they would want to press the candidates on if they get elected,” Brown said. 

Community Health major and sophomore Nabiha Ahmed expressed her thoughts as well. 

“This presidential debate went better than the last one because the debate stayed more on topic,” Ahmed said. “I feel that muting the microphones when the other candidate was talking was a smart decision for the debate because it allowed for both sides to be heard clearly. Having candidates talk over each other just makes the debate amusing and not informative, which it shouldn’t be since it is a presidential debate.” 

Ahmed said that there are several ways the candidates could have done better. 

“I think the candidates should have had an equal amount of time. The candidates should have talked about taxation and jobs more and explain how they will make changes to these aspects instead of just discussing its importance,” Ahmed said. “The candidates should have discussed detailed plans for how they will make changes, this would have been helpful for the audience.” 

Ahmed believed that the debate would not change anyone’s mind on who to vote for. 

“The candidates didn’t provide definite answers to the questions and often curbed them,” Ahmed said. “I feel like a majority of the audience knows who to vote for, but tuned in to watch the debate for knowledge about policies. For those who watched the debate and didn’t know which candidate to vote for, I feel like they would have been better off doing research on their own.”