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Winners and losers of the Hofstra presidential debate


  • Hillary Clinton: Clinton was able to hit Trump hard and fast without seeming aggressive during the debate. She was able to impart policy while calling out Trump on his contradictory statements, whether they were about the Obama birther movement, tax returns or his support of the Iraq War. Clinton seemed poised and prepared in a presidential debate that had all eyes on the two candidates.
  • Social media: This might seem obvious, but social media flourished before, during and after the debate. Users on Twitter and Facebook voiced their opinions through the platforms with jokes and tweets directed toward the candidates and campaigns directly as well as fact checking and analysis. This spike in usage is good for the companies and good for other users.
  • Hofstra University: Hosting a presidential debate for the third consecutive time is no easy feat. Planning said debate in two months is even harder. Hofstra was able to successfully coordinate hundreds of student volunteers, thousands of credentialed media and countless observers with true finesse. Hosting this debate, and doing it so well, will only serve to elevate Hofstra’s status on the national stage and help to energize current and potential students for years to come.
  • Fact checking: 2016 may very well be the year of the fact check, and for good reason. Whether it was Politifact’s live fact checking blog, The Huffington Post’s “debate lie tracker,” The Washington Post’s fact checking article or Bloomberg News’s promised (but unfulfilled) on-screen checking (more on that below), it was refreshing to see that so many outlets care about facts and figures – even if the candidates themselves don’t.
  • TV ratings: The ratings aren’t officially out as of the time of writing, but it has been widely predicted that this debate will easily be one of the most watched in modern history. With 80.6 million viewers, the ultimate record belongs to the 1980 debate between Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, but estimated the Trump versus Clinton debate would “easily” reach 70 million viewers. For reference, the 2016 Super Bowl got 114.4 million viewers. Even if this debate doesn’t beat the current record, the projections alone are pretty impressive – especially when coupled with the fact that it was broadcast across 14 major news networks.



  • Donald Trump: Trump was fairly composed for the first half hour of the debate, during which he kept a relatively calm and subdued demeanor. This quickly dissipated as he became more aggressive, even reiterating attacks that already brought him criticism from the media in the past. Overall he was lacking on substantive policy, changed topics at any given moment and said things that were simply untrue, making him seem unprepared for the debate, and for the presidency.
  • Lester Holt: Holt did little to actually enforce the rules of the debate. During the event Trump and Clinton routinely cut each other off, went over their allotted speaking times and went off on tangents about unrelated topics. Honestly, if Trump hadn’t kept addressing him by name, I probably would’ve forgotten he was there.
  • Bloomberg News: One look at social media will reveal how disappointed viewers were about Bloomberg News not fact checking live on-screen during the debate despite the fact that they, and other media outlets, said they would. If you announce a big plan to draw in viewers during what was expected to be one of the most watched political debates in modern history, you should actually carry it out.
  • Jill Stein: Stein accomplished her goal of walking onto the Hofstra University campus, but was escorted off the premises by Nassau County police before she could achieve any type of martyrdom. She didn’t even get arrested in true Jill Stein fashion. Despite what she will tell her supporters, this was the furthest thing from a revolution. Ultimately this act of disobedience did little, if anything, to further her goals.
  • The sanctity of the debate: As stated above, the candidates showed a reckless disregard for the rules and conventions of the presidential debate. Between laughing at each other on stage, talking over one another and blatantly disregarding the moderator’s (albeit feeble) attempts to do his job, the candidates showed that they will stop at no means to be heard even if there are boundaries they should follow.

The views and opinions expressed in the Op-Ed section are those of the authors of the articles. They are not an endorsement of the views of The Chronicle or its staff. The Chronicle does not discriminate based on the opinions of the authors.

Letter from the Dean of Students

Political debates: Necessary for politicians and students