The tone of the final presidential debate tonight is hard to predict, but is not likely to influence the outcome of the elections, according to political communication professors Esther Thorson and Kjerstin Thorson.
“Since the initial debates back in the ’60s, we’ve never been in a particular election anywhere near like this one,” Esther Thorson said.
Thorson said this debate could be very different from the others.
“With all of his problems and issues, really with insulting women, minorities, and people with disabilities, Muslims, etc., it’s just not clear what he would need to do in order to come out looking good from this debate,” Esther Thorson said.
Click below to listen to the interview with Esther Thorson in its entirety.
The professor also said she is interested in seeing what the viewership will be like.
“Usually by the third debate, viewership is much lower,” Esther Thorson said. “People don’t change their minds in a debate. Maybe the independents push a little this way or a little that way but, for the most part, nobody is an independent now.”
College of Communication Arts and Sciences assistant professor Kjerstin Thorson said she is expecting a lot of dramatic events tonight.
“For me personally, what I’m most interested to see is whether Donald Trump continues to pursue his argument that the election is rigged against him,” she said. “Regardless if you are a Democrat or a Republican, one of the things that make this country work is that we all trust in the system. So if he is suggesting to his supporters that the election outcome won’t be fair, that’s a pretty extreme statement.”
Kjerstin Thorson also said this debate is not likely to change the outcome of the election.
“Hillary Clinton is solidly ahead and she performed consistently in both debates,” she said.
Despite the results from the latest polls, the chairman of Michigan Federation of College Republicans Charlie Kolean said he is looking forward to Trump’s performance in the final debate.
“I think he is going to do very well in the last debate and that’s just because the setting is going to be different,” Kolean said. “I think the American people got a taste of how politicians speak the truth and also refer to stuff that people have wanted him to directly refer to.”
MSU Hospitality Business student Lamont Davis said this debate can help cement his beliefs.
“They both have to be aware of how they word their answers as we can see the results of the last debate,” Davis said. “I believe it’s going to be a standoff in a sense of who can kind of show more maturity as a politician. I believe the election is already decided but that’s if the right civilians vote on Election Day.”