Local political analyst weighs in on Tuesday’s presidential debate


Tuesday's presidential debate grabbed a lot of people's attention, but did it earn the candidates any votes?

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Tuesday’s presidential debate grabbed a lot of people’s attention, but did it earn the candidates any votes?

Political Science Professor Andrew Dowdle said while this debate was unlike any other, the way it impacts voters shouldn’t change.

“This is really the first time it has come close to being something that almost derails the entire event,” he said.

Dowdle calls Tuesday night’s presidential debate uncivilized.

“It’s a big show between both of them,” said new voter Zachary Jarvis.

We caught up with him at a voting registration event, and he said the debate was surprising.

“It’s a lot more competitive than what it used to be, from what I’ve seen kind more bickering back and forth than talking about actual points,” said Jarvis.

But, the chaotic discussion didn’t cloud his judgement when deciding who’s getting his vote.

“You already knew who you were going to vote for before the debate?”

“I’ve known who I was gonna vote for.”

Dowdle said this mentality is consistent with the majority of voters.

“In most cases, 90 percent of debates don’t have a big effect,” he said. “People end up thinking that the candidate either they identify with voting for or leaning towards probably is the candidate that ends up winning.”

Dowdle said after last night’s show, there are talks of changing up the format of the next debate.

“They’re even talking about giving the moderator the ability to mute the microphone of the candidate who’s turn it isn’t,” he said.

Even with years of political science under his belt, he said there’s no way to predict what’s coming next.

He said, “It’s hard to make any safe bets at this point in terms of what the next debate will look like.”

There are two presidential debates and one vice presidential debate left, all of those happening next month.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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