Slightly more than half of Canby-area viewers believe President Donald Trump outperformed his Democratic challenger Joe Biden in their second and final debate Thursday night, according to an unscientific and informal Facebook poll by The Canby Current.
The majority, or 51.5%, of the more than 400 commenters felt the incumbent won the debate, while 38.2% said the night belonged to the former vice president.
Of the remainder, 7.4% had not been impressed by either candidate, while 2.9% said it was a tie.
Many respondents appreciated that this debate had been a much more orderly affair than the first time the two candidates met in September, with relatively few interruptions and stricter controls on speaking time.
“President Trump,” said Michelle Frazier Davis. “And I think the American people won because this time they both behaved like adults and let us actually evaluate their responses.”
“This debate was so much better than the last one,” agreed Annie Toney. “We could actually hear what each candidate had to say. I am still 100% for President Trump.”
Reader Angie Moreland’s response was atypical, both for our poll and the national mood as a whole, in feeling positively toward both candidates.
“I like both but going to stick with Trump,” she said. “We need a leader that’s strong and wants to keep this country’s businesses going!”
Others, not unlike Trump himself, couldn’t resist taking a shot at his opponent.
“No way. Trump was the winner,” said a respondent. “However, Biden was lucid. Kudos.”
“Trump!” another agreed. “Biden seemed to forget often that he was in a debate with Trump, choosing instead to make sweeping emotional pleas to the camera.”
Trump supporters expressed concern over a number of Biden’s proposed policies or stances, including his proposal for an expanded health care plan with a public option and his stated desire to phase out fossil fuels.
“Is no one concerned about socialized medical care?” asked Melissa Anderson Bussey. “I’ve only heard negatives from people in countries with socialized medicine. Granted, our system is messed up because of litigation and insurance gouging. I don’t know the answer, but I definitely don’t want the government deciding for me.”
Others felt Trump has earned another four years, based on his first term.
“He has done more to impact our nation, putting God and families first,” said Lisa Marie Hefner. “He has withstood more belligerence, ridicule, disrespect and bad media coverage. He has given, been honest and bold. America is freer and more equipped during these times than we were before. I am very grateful for his presidency and looking forward to four more needed years.”
“I couldn’t care less who won the debate,” quipped Steven Prowant. “I care who can run a country. Biden is a worthless politician. President Trump is the best president this country has ever seen.”
Though he lagged behind the president in raw numbers, former Vice President Biden had no shortage of supporters as well.
“Biden 2020,” said one reader. “So done with Trump and his idiotic rants, racism, tweets, and other nonsense. Other countries laugh at us. How embarrassing.”
Some respondents felt Biden had outperformed the incumbent in their final contest.
“Biden won,” said Marguerite Garcia. “Trump had no real answer for too many of the questions. His answer to the question about what he would say in his inaugural speech was a total mess.”
“Biden by far,” agreed Cindy Bennett. “Interesting to look at a fact-checker tomorrow. Some familiar whoppers were paraded out.”
Indeed, the fact-checkers were not impressed by much of what President Trump had to say, with The New York Times describing his performance as an “unrelenting series of false, misleading and exaggerated statements.”
“President Trump’s a liar and resorts to theatrics and accusations,” one reader said. “Because he’s divisive and dramatic, his rhetoric is unpersuasive. … He’s cruel and unprincipled, and I think that was again obvious to most Americans tonight.
“It’s not about baseball, hotdogs, apple pie and Chevrolet anymore for the Republican party. It’s about a leader without principals that the Americans are now choosing to withdraw support from. Biden, while not the aggressive fireball, has courtesy on his side. Most of us appreciate his intelligence and diplomacy. Biden won. He will always win against the national bully.”
Several were critical of one of the issues that became a central talking point in the debate: the Trump administration’s policy of separating families at the border with Mexico — with a reported 545 children whose parents cannot be located.
“Sad how Trump has absolutely no remorse towards those 500 children that the Trump administration lost,” said Mariela T. Casarez. “He was asked multiple times how will families that were separated at the border will be reunited. He kept dodging the question and talked about irrelevant shit until he finally said, ‘We are working very hard.’ I don’t see anything getting better.”
Biden supporters, at times, took their own shots at his opponent.
“I was very proud of Vice President Biden,” said one reader. “It’s so nice to see someone with empathy, especially for those 500-plus children the Trump administration ripped from the arms of their parents. On the other hand, Trump managed not to light himself on fire in a dumpster, which was a nice surprise.”
Some readers felt neither “won” Thursday’s contest.
“They were both pathetic,” one complained. “It was like watching two toddlers arguing over a toy!”
“The only clear winner was the person who did not watch it,” agreed Kenneth Raymond.
While some felt the winner was the Libertarian Party candidate who had not been permitted on the stage.
“I think Jo Jorgensen won this debate merely by letting these two talk,” said Stepfanie Schultz.
Julia Jonah Jaden thanked the Current for asking the question.
“I’m just happy that at least one big page on Facebook here in Canby allows politics!” she said. “Yay!!! PS… Trump 2020🇺🇸”
And April Jewell Hendricks was just glad to not have a hangover Friday morning.
“Excellent debate!” she said. “I did not feel like I needed a drink (or two) halfway through🍷.”
As unscientific as our poll was, the results would appear to be in line with the area’s voter registration numbers, where Republicans hold a slight edge over Dems in Canby city limits — and a sizable lead in the Canby School District.
Ballots for the general election are being accepted now through Nov. 3. A record number of Clackamas Countians have already voted.
Wikimedia Commons photo by Gage Skidmore is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.