Hillary Clinton was the clear winner of last night’s presidential debate.
A CNN/ORC analysis revealed that 62 percent of voters who tuned in deemed Clinton the winner, compared to 27 percent who said they preferred Donald Trump’s performance. (CNN noted that the poll sample was weighted more heavily Democratic, but the rout was still evident.) Voters lauded Clinton for expressing her views more clearly more Trump, saying she had a better understanding of the issues by a margin of 2 to 1. Further, 56 percent said Clinton did a better job at addressing concerns voters might have about her potential presidency, versus 39 percent for Trump. Viewers were more divided on which candidate appeared more authentic, but Clinton also topped Trump on this question 53 percent to 40 percent.
Two focus groups also declared Clinton the winner. Republican pollster Frank Luntz said that 16 out of 22 participants in his focus group thought Clinton won the debate. Luntz noted that Trump’s attack on Clinton’s stamina appeared to work to her benefit.
— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) September 27, 2016
A CNN focus group of undecided Florida voters also agreed Clinton emerged victorious by a significant majority. 18 of the focus group’s 20 participants deemed Clinton the winner.
Viewers also slammed Trump for interrupting Clinton. According to one analysis, Trump interrupted Clinton 25 times in the first 26 minutes of the debate. By night’s end, Trump had interrupted Clinton a total 51 times compared to Clinton’s 17. In one instance, Trump spoke loudly, interjecting after Clinton argued that he “was one of the people who rooted for the housing crisis.”
“That’s called business, by the way,” Trump responded. He interrupted again to deny ever saying that climate change is a hoax carried out by the Chinese. (Trump did say this, in a tweet he wrote in November 2012.)
The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2012
Trump also attacked Clinton when she directed viewers to her website for fact checks. “And take a look at mine also,” Trump interjected. (Ironically, the Trump website went down for a time during the debate.) Trump also muttered “not” and “wrong” under his breath at other points while Clinton was speaking.
Trump is famously sensitive about any questions about his wealth and business acumen, and Clinton took advantage,
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