The deciding debate before Election Day


Resident Artist Sarah Sander’s depiction of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton at the 3rd Presidential Debate.

The final presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton before the 2016 Election Day occurred last Wednesday, October 19th. The debate took place in Las Vegas, Nevada. Nevada is known as a swing state in Presidential elections, with potential to fall to either major party. The performances of the candidates in this debate may influence how well they do in Nevada due to how local the event is. This is important as swing states are often what decide a Presidential Election. This debate was moderated by Fox News.

The debate was much more civil than the first showdown between the two candidates from back in September.  Interruptions were very few, and both candidates were able to express their policies fully. The moderator brought up many controversial issues such as abortion, immigration, and gun control. These issues are very divisive among many citizens and are certain to influence viewers’ opinions about each candidate.

In the debate, Trump supported pro-life policies, claiming to support punishment for women who opt. for abortions. Hillary is very pro-choice and strongly opposed Donald’s statements; she believes that fetuses do not have constitutional rights. With regards to the topic of immigration, Donald confirmed his intentions to build a wall on the Mexican border and enact mass deportations for illegal immigrants. Hillary countered with claims that a mass deportation would require a huge police presence in regions with high illegal alien populations, which would disrupt the life of US citizens. She also stated that it would be far easier and simpler to grant citizenship to illegal immigrants so that they will start to pay taxes and will be paid minimum wage so that they can not be taken advantage of by businesses.

As the debate began to move towards constitutional policy and gun control, Trump stated that the Second Amendment needs to be upheld and that there is a need to overturn some liberal Supreme Court decisions about the amendment. Hillary responded by claiming she is also a supporter of the Second Amendment but believed that more regulation is required to prevent dangerous criminals from easily obtaining firearms.

Halfway through the debate, the candidates turned to the various ad hominem attacks seen in the first two debates. Hillary claimed that Trump sexually assaulted multiple women, encourages violence at his primary election rallies, disrespects prisoners of war, and does not pay income taxes. Trump retorted by saying that Hillary takes campaign donations from countries that have denied people human rights, has committed several federal crimes in her e-mail scandal, has rigged the Democratic primary elections, and accused her for being married to a rapist. Despite the attacks in the second half of the debate, viewers and potential voters received  information about each candidate’s policies from the first portion which will allow them to make an informed decision come Election Day.