Pres­sure on Clin­ton, Trump in first de­bate

The Myanmar Times - - World -

WHO is go­ing to win? Who is go­ing to choke? The pres­sure is in­tense for Repub­li­can Don­ald Trump and Demo­crat Hil­lary Clin­ton – phe­nom­e­nally dif­fer­ent can­di­dates –who clash in their first de­bate to­day.

Stakes are as high as they get since there are just six weeks un­til the Novem­ber 8 elec­tion. Polls show a close race, with Ms Clin­ton, 68, en­joy­ing an edge.

Many an­a­lysts say de­bates usu­ally don’t win a can­di­date the elec­tion but can well lose it for them. A sin­gle sen­tence, or the slight­est slip, can do se­ri­ous dam­age.

Plenty of Amer­i­can vot­ers will have made a de­ci­sion by now, to be sure. Most have.

But 9 per­cent by some es­ti­mates still don’t know who to vote for, af­ter a cam­paign in which bit­ter at­tacks have of­ten re­placed sub­stance.

And this year has been like none in the past, with Mr Trump, 70, us­ing so­cial me­dia around the clock in com­bat­ive fash­ion, while of­ten mak­ing mis­takes, mis-state­ments and blun­ders with­out trou­bling his base.

The re­spected New York Times has en­dorsed Ms Clin­ton, who ahead of the de­bates has been clois­tered with aides at home in Chap­paqua, New York, even prac­tic­ing with rel­a­tives play­ing Mr Trump.

She has been fo­cus­ing on his psy­cho­log­i­cal pro­file, with a goal to get Mr Trump to crack, to show that he can’t con­trol him­self and lacks the tem­per­a­ment a pres­i­dent needs.

If he re­acts by at­tack­ing, Mr Trump also risks losing women’s votes; he al­ready has a harder time with women vot­ers, and they make up 53pc of those who turn out. And any slip is sure to be a TV news sound bite.

Sup­port­ers have said they hope Mr Trump will keep his cool.

Ms Clin­ton, mak­ing her sec­ond pres­i­den­tial bid, is an old hand at de­bates and is con­sid­ered solid.

But 65pc say they do not find her hon­est. And 52pc have a neg­a­tive opin­ion of a woman they see as cere­bral, dis­tant or cold.

Mr Trump is still per­ceived more neg­a­tively than Ms Clin­ton: 61pc of Amer­i­cans have neg­a­tive view of him, many say­ing they are put off by his per­son­al­ity and ag­gres­sive­ness. –

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