Almost 50 percent of American voters apparently think that the presidential debate moderators will help Hillary Clinton, while hardly anyone thinks Trump will be extended the same courtesy.
This was the conclusion of a Rasmussen poll taken last week in the run-up to tonight’s first presidential debate between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, starting at 9 p.m. Eastern Time.
The findings of this one poll may not be all that surprising and seem to be a reflection of past practice. If you’ve been following previous election cycles, regardless of your party affiliation, if any, in general most would agree that there is a tendency for moderators to be more deferential to the Democrat standard-bearer in the presidential and vice presidential debates. In previous cycles, one presidential debate is usually in the town hall format, and the audience in those forums seem to be populated with more liberal-leaning questioners, too.
Rasmussen provided this summary of its survey data.
“A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that a plurality (46%) of Likely U.S. Voters believes most moderators will try to help Clinton in the upcoming debates. Only six percent (6%) think they will try to help Trump instead. Just 32% say most of the moderators will try to be unbiased, while 15% are undecided. Seventy-eight percent (78%) of voters who support Trump think the moderators will try to help Clinton…Twelve percent (12%) of Clinton voters think the moderators will try to help Trump, compared to just two percent (2%) of Trump supporters who feel that way.”
According to RadarOnline, Hillary Clinton is also allowed a special podium to make her look taller given her substantial height disadvantage with the six-foot-two Trump. The event will go forward with no commercials, so both candidates must remain on stage for the entire 90 minutes.
Each moderator this time around is supposedly prohibited from fact-checking either candidate during the debate, against the backdrop of an incident that many feel undermined 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s chances.
“During a crucial moment in the 2012 debates, CNN’s [Candy] Crowley famously rebutted an assertion by Mitt Romney, enraging supporters who argued the point — about how Barack Obama characterized terrorism after the Benghazi attack — was muddled at best,” NBC News explained.
“The media coverage on the presidential contest seems to have come down to ‘fact-checking,’ with The New York Times, The Washington Post and Politico each doing articles depicting Donald Trump’s lies on the campaign trail. This is dangerous territory for the profession, for as Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto opined on Twitter: ‘Fact checking’ is opinion journalism pretending to be some sort of heightened objectivity,'” the Washington Times observed.
A separate Rasmussen poll now gives Donald Trump a five-point national edge over Hillary Clinton, although the presidency is won or lost on a state-by-state basis in a contest for 270-or-more electoral votes.
“This year’s debates are potentially a breakaway moment for either Clinton or Trump who have been running neck-and-neck for weeks in Rasmussen Reports’ White House Watch survey. Trump is ahead by five points in the latest survey, but it’s too early to say if he is gaining any traction over his rival.”
The Real Clear Politics average of 10 national polls currently shows Clinton in the lead by less than two points.
Although everyone expects Hillary Clinton to be fully prepared — she apparently has been practicing day and night — for tonight’s much-hyped debate, it remains to be seen if Trump can remain presidential throughout the event, especially given some of the cringe-worthy moments during the series of GOP debates. Projections are that 100 million viewers will tune in.
“Trump, on the other hand, has said that he doesn’t want to over-prepare for Monday’s debate. While he met with top advisers on Sunday to hash out debate strategy, the Republican nominee has largely eschewed with traditional debate prep, deciding instead to trust his instincts on Monday night,” CNN reported.
The pro-Trump website the Conservative Treehouse claims that the mainstream media is very anxious to crown Hillary Clinton the winner, but that either way, very few undecided voters are still in play. Lifezette argues, however, that the GOP nominee and first-time candidate is in a stronger position even with less command of all the details and nuances of politics because “all Trump needs to do is convince the mass of currently undecided voters that he is not the monstrous, bigoted caricature that Clinton and her allies in the mainstream media have created.”
Do you think that the presidential debate moderators will be fair to both candidates in terms of the questioning, allocation of speaking time, and avoiding interrupting them?
[Featured Image by David Goldman/AP Images]