The result affirmed the importance of the debates, particularly when a candidate makes a bad decision on approach strategy and/or commits an unforced error. Another example would be the 1976 debates, President Ford said that Poland was a free country during the Cold War and it led to Jimmy Carter gaining traction which afforded his victory.
In less than two weeks, Donald Trump will take the stage for the first debate of the campaign with Hillary Clinton. The moderators are likely to have a decided slant toward Clinton judging from their past views, but Trump has a great opportunity to gain credence if he can maintain the discipline that he has shown of late. Since Steven Bannon and KellyAnne Conway have become involved in the campaign, his appearances have softened yet his message has remained spot on, largely avoiding the unforced errors that were shown often during primary season. But remember, even then Trump was able to pull it off, but that was then and this is now. The "real" campaign for the Presidency as opposed to the lead up primaries is like comparing NFL pre-season to the Super Bowl. The candidate must be on his best game at all times.
And then there's Hillary Clinton, hacking, coughing and fainting, showing physical weakness combined with a screeching personality that is just no likeable. She has a tremendous challenge due to her lack of stamina and even memory in some cases. We can expect Trump to challenge her fitness both due to health and her sordid financial matters related to the family foundation.
If Trump doesn't let her get under his skin and stays on message about immigration, the economy, the general rule of law and community law and order, he can capitalize on his current momentum and pull ahead. That is the big challenge in his future and this writer thinks, judging from his recent change in strategy, if he can maintain his approach it could be a very big winner. Hillary just looks like she doesn't have the stamina for the ordeal of a contentious debate but only time will tell.
The first of three debates will be on September 26th at 9 p.m. Eastern from Hofstra University on Long Island, New York. We'll discuss it when it's over and then get ready for rounds two and three at Washington University in St. Louis (October 9) and the University of Nevada-Las Vegas (October 19). The one and only vice presidential debate will be held on October 4th at Longwood University in Virginia. That should also be a good one with the cool and collected Republican Mike Pence facing the unusual temperament of Tim Kaine.
Pay attention to all of these debates, folks, the future of America is clearly at stake. God bless America.