BEND, OR -- More than 81 million people tuned in for the first debate, this week, between Presidential candidates Hillary Trump and Donald Trump. Television ratings broke the previous debate record set in 1980 between Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter. A consensus of media outlets found Clinton the victor in the 90-minutes forum. But, with Central Oregonians, the winner varies, depending on who you ask.
Bob Perry, with Deschutes Republicans, watched the debate with other local Republicans at Aspen Lakes, in Sisters. He tells KBND News, "I felt that Trump was talking to the people, and Hillary was talking to media elites. And, the style of each was so dramatically different, in that Trump seemed to be so much more relaxed and pointed and Hillary, in my opinion at least - I've heard the word 'robotic' used - but she was rather stiff and smug on many of her comments." He adds, "I thought he was very pointed with regard to trade, trade agreeements, the economy, jobs; that's where I thought he excelled. And, I thought he went into enough detail on his proposals in those. I didn't see a lot of detail on Hillary's proposals."
Despite tightening polls in battleground states, many Democrats are feeling much better after what they see as a strong performance by Hillary Clinton in Monday's debate. Deschutes Democrats met at their downtown Bend headquarters to watch the debate together. Ross Centers believes Clinton showed she is the stronger, better prepared candidate. "Hillary Clinton was the clear winner in that debate. Donald Trump showed that he lacks the knowledge, values and temperment to be President." He hopes the success translates to votes. "This has been a weird election, but I have faith in the American people. That faith tells me this will move the needle. This debate is showing a clear difference, night and day, between the candidates. And, we're going to move forward from here." Most pollsters say any potential bounce, for either candidate, won't be seen in the numbers for at least a week.
Trump and Clinton will face each other again Sunday, October 9. Their final scheduled debate is Wednesday, October 19. The Vice Presidential candidates will debate Tuesday, October 4.