Did Hillary Win the Debate and Lose Voters?



While most folks say Hillary Clinton won Monday’s presidential debate with Donald Trump at Hofstra University in New York, she may not have won actual votes. According McClatchy, Hillary may even have lost some votes, at least in the battleground state of North Carolina.


Nineteen percent of the participants in a focus group conducted by McClatchy and The Charlotte Observer who had been up for grabs before Monday’s presidential debate moved away from Hillary Clinton after watching the debate:

Kae Roberts and Jay Eardly were leaning toward Hillary Clinton before Monday night’s debate.

By the end, they had both pulled away.

John Kokos and Hank Federal were undecided going in, potential Clinton backers.

By the end, they’d ruled her out.

The debate focus group was a racially diverse and comprised seven Republicans, six Democrats, seven unaffiliated voters and one Libertarian. The group participated in an hourlong discussion after watching the debate at Queens University of Charlotte. The four participants who moved away from Hillary were not impressed with Hillary’s tired old ideas:

For the four who emerged less impressed by Clinton, it was the seeming familiarity of her proposals for the economy and national security that was a turnoff.

Roberts, who is unaffiliated with a party, wrote in her notes several times during the debate that Clinton offered “pie in the sky” ideas. By debate’s end, she had moved from leaning toward Clinton to undecided.

“The things she says she’s going to do, there’s no substance behind it,” Roberts said.

[. . . ]

“I was looking for Hillary to convince me, but I’m not getting the Hillary I’m looking for,” particularly on taxes, said Eardly, an unaffiliated voter. By the end of the debate, he’d moved from Clinton to considering Johnson.

[. . .]

Kokos, who works in Hickory, said before the debate he was undecided. Afterward, he ruled out Clinton and appeared open to either Johnson or Trump. “The things she said were out of an old playbook,” he said.


The real winner of the debate among the focus group participants was Gary Johnson. According to the McClatchy article, before the debate, the tally was nine Clinton, three Trump, six undecided and three Johnson. Afterward, it became seven Clinton, three Trump, six undecided and five Johnson. Trump had only three supporters before the debate, but he held on to them.

What would the result have been if Johnson had been allowed to debate?


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