Hillary Clinton came into the third debate on top. Pretty much every poll showed her in front of Donald Trump. Pussygate turned out to cause a lot more trouble for the Donald than I predicted, and his continuous failure to just flat out apologize didn’t help much either. The Republican nominee entered the stage as a wounded lion. Everything was set for an extension of the crap throwing contest that started during the second debate. At least I excepted Trump to attempt a citizens arrest on stage.
But that never happened. The third debate somehow turned out to be the most civil of the three. The candidates discussed actual topics, like abortion, Aleppo, and immigration. On abortion, Hillary Clinton promised to “defend Planned Parenthood”, a statement that meant she lost Utah on the spot. But that state has been a lost cause for her since the beginning of the campaign. There’s a good chance her stance on planned parenthood made her more votes from female voters than she lost from the evangelicals.
The most interesting takeaway from the third debate wasn’t really where the candidates stand on your everyday political issues. It was whether or not Donald Trump will set America on fire if he loses the election come November.
To Concede or not Concede
Since after the first debate, Trump has called every poll that puts Hillary in front of him “rigged”. This has raised the question of whether or not Trump will accept the election result in the event that he loses. Will he concede to Clinton? Pressed on the topic by moderator Chris Wallace - who did a great job handling both candidates during the debate - Trump’s final answer was this:
"What I'm saying now is I will tell you at the time. I will keep you in suspense, okay?" - Donald Trump on whether or not he will concede in the event that he loses to Hillary Clinton.
This is… problematic, to say the least. First of all, this kind of attitude undermines the entire democratic election process. You might argue that the American model isn’t as democratic as it perhaps should be, but at least they’re trying. The second issue is that Trump has a lot of crazy-ass supporters with easy access to guns. If, in a hypothetical world where Trump loses the election, he screams for the blood of the people who robbed him of his election and gave the presidency to “crooked Hillary”, some of these supporters might actually act on it. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.
As a final note, it’s worth noting that Trump’s focus on the election being “rigged” might do him more harm than good. Many of his votes will come from people who hasn’t bothered to vote before. If he continues to call the whole process “rigged” - and he does - they might not take the time to vote this time either. And Trump needs every single vote he can get to be able to lay his hands on the keys to the White House next year. Right now, the polls show that the chance of that happening is quite slim.
Oh, I forgot. Those polls are rigged.