Trump Got the Debate He Wanted, But Will it Help Him?

The day after the debate
Does it feel like something changed at that first presidential debate of 2020? Putting aside that it was exactly the kind of debate that the year 2020 deserved, it felt like during all that bellowing, bullying, heckling, and lying, Trump pushed a few more voters away.

I’m not a pollster. My observations are just that: the most elemental of research, what I see and hear around me.

The day of the debate, I heard Trump supporters talking about recording the show like it was a ball game their team was likely to win. I heard laughter about Biden. On a neighborhood walk, I saw mostly Trump/Pence signs. They appeared early and continued to outnumber Biden signs.

The day after the debate, I heard no chortling about how well Trump did. In fact no one mentioned the debate at all, the subject just too painful. When I came home, it seemed that my neighbors’ yards filled with Biden signs overnight. No matter where my eyes fell, there was a Biden/Harris sign in view.

The official polls reflecting post-debate sentiment won’t be out for awhile. But I’m cautiously optimistic they’ll back up what I’m seeing and show that Trump is sliding just a bit, losing support every time he opens that tight, pursed mouth to let all that anger out.

Watching Trump live-tweet Biden in person was hard. But it might be what it takes to turn enough Americans away from his nightmare presidency.

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