What some will be watching for in Trump/Biden debate

Updated: Sep. 29, 2020 at 5:20 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - When Democratic candidate Joe Biden faces off with incumbent Republican President Donald Trump in their first of three scheduled debates, it’s estimated 106 million people will be watching.

It’s generally thought the debates don’t move the needle and with America so polarized, that’s likely to be the case in this debate, but there are still things to watch for.

First of all, the ability to adapt and think on their feet.

“This is a debate between two men in their 70′s, mid to late 70′s, so thinking on your feet if you want to be President for the next four to eight years is a required skill,” said Amber Phillips, a political analyst for the Washington Post.

Phillips, who is based in Washington, D.C., says while the recent tax revelations exposed by the New York Times, will come up, it will probably not be the main issue.

“I think the number one thing is how he defends his coronavirus response,” she said. “Headline and headline, scandal after scandal hasn’t stuck to the President except for his handling of the pandemic.”

Randy Higginson is a 19-year-old journalism student at the University of Arizona who says he has switched from being a conservative Trump supporter to a progressive.

“The main thing I want to do is fact check both sides,” he said.

He also wants to see how the candidates think on their feet.

“I kind of want to see how they handle the issues that haven’t been our for as long and they haven’t had as much time to practice and prepare answers for,” he said.

Ireland Jewel Stevenson is a grad student in Public Administration who majored in journalism as an undergraduate.

She says politics has become a popular topic of conversation among her generation.

“Across the board I’ve heard a lot more vocalization from people around my age about what’s going on,” she said. “And that’s incredibly important.”

She too wants to see how the President handles questions about his taxes and says she believes much of the debate will center not around issues but about performance.

“It’s not for people to change their minds,” she said. “It’s for people to hear on a live open stage what these candidates goals are for the next four years."

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