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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Half of America’s likely voters will rely on the presidential debates to help them make their choice between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton in the Nov. 8 election, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Monday.

The results show the stakes for the White House rivals as they prepare to face off on Monday at Hofstra University in Long Island, New York, for their first of three one-on-one debates, a prime-time TV spectacle expected to draw a Super Bowl-sized audience of 100 million Americans.

Some 50 percent of likely voters think the debates will help inform their decision of whom to support, including 10 percent who say they are not currently leaning either way, according to the opinion poll.

Some 39 percent said the debates will not help, and 11 percent said they did not know how the debates would affect them.

In a strong signal that most viewers will also be hoping the debates bring clarity, some 72 percent of respondents said they want to see moderators point out when a candidate says something that is untrue. That included 73 percent of people who identified themselves as Trump supporters and 82 percent of those who said they back Clinton, according to the results.

“It helps the audience, particularly me, to recognise what’s bull crap and what’s real,” said Harvey Leven, 63, a teacher from Farmington Hills, Michigan. “It’s easy for the candidates to quote a statistic and people accept it.”

Clinton currently leads in most national polls and holds critical advantages in key swing states like Ohio and North Carolina. The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll finds Clinton leading Trump nationally by 4 percentage points.

Clinton had seen her popularity dip in recent weeks after more questions arose about her family foundation and the use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.


Many voters are hoping to see a relatively civilized debate, after months of mutual attacks between Trump and Clinton on the campaign trail. Trump has called for Clinton to be jailed for her handling of emails as America’s top diplomat. Clinton has accused Trump of racism and of being temperamentally unfit for the Oval Office.

Of those polled, 61 percent said they are not interested in those kinds of attacks.

“Quit picking on each other,” said Lisa Miller, 48, of St. Louis, Missouri. “This isn’t a playground. Grow up and talk about your plan.”

A plurality of likely voters want to hear both Clinton and Trump talk about jobs and the economy, the poll found.

“I’ll tell you with Donald Trump I want to see that he has rational answers to questions without name calling,” said Leven. “I want to try to get beyond the political hocus pocus that both of them are doing and try to see who they really are.”

The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online in English in all 50 states. It included 2,124 American adults, including 1,337 people who were deemed to be likely voters due to their voting history, registration status and stated intention to show up on Election Day. The poll has a credibility interval, a measure of accuracy, of 2 percentage points for all respondents and 3 percentage points for likely voters.

(Reporting by Ginger Gibson and Chris Kahn; Editing by Richard Valdmanis and Leslie Adler)

Photo: U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton reacts after speaking at a campaign event at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. September 19, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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5 responses to “Debates To Help Half Of U.S. Voters Decide Between Clinton, Trump – Reuters/Ipsos Poll”

  1. Buford2k11 says:

    I have lost all faith in that “half”…if it isn’t obvious right now, that Trump is a clear and present danger to our democracy, than there is nothing in this debate that can change that…

  2. patricia.kinley says:

    I currently get paid in the span of $6000-$8000 /month with an internet task. For those of you who are prepared to work simple at home task for 2-5 h /day from your living room and gain good salary while doing it… This is ideal for you…

  3. Thoughtopsy says:

    If you haven’t worked it out by now then something is rather wrong.
    And I say that in a non-partisan sense.
    The choice is very clear based on facts to date.
    You should be able to pick the side that most closely matches your needs.

  4. As it has already been stated or alluded to by a few others, the need of a debate, is moot, irrelevant, and waste of time and money, and just another attempt to throw another of countless life rafts for Donald—none of which in concert can support his ballast.
    After an avalanche of cues and bald-faced lies and bigotry espoused by one person in particular, the decision should be more than obvious.

    Those who don’t like either, always have the option to write in anyone else they feel can negotiate America through a tumult of wars, hunger, environmental disasters, spiritual collapse and the attendant rise of materialism(2 items that one particular person is eminently unqualified to address), economic disparities, ethnic and racial conflicts, monetary crises, to list a few.

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