With the spring election just days away, candidates get in some last-minute campaigning on in advance of Tuesday's voting.
Bradford: Trump's worst mistake of the entire first debate was referring to his exploiting commercial real estate prices during the 2007-08 economic collapse as "just business." That will be played back endlessly in Clinton attack ads. It's not a good position for any Presidential candidate to appear to be cheering for a collapse of the U.S. economy. Clinton should have pounced on it harder and it would have been the defining moment of the first debate. With that said, Trump stuck to his themes and Clinton won the debate on points... ...but that's not the victory she needs to put Trump away. Don't forget that Ronald Reagan had a far worse performance in his first debate and won the Presidential election if 1980. The dynamic of the campaign that has gained traction with the voters is whether there is a disqualifying reason not to vote for Donald Trump. All Trump has to do is survive, stick to his basic themes about the economy, look Presidential...in other words like he belongs on that stage...and avoid the big gaffe. The voters who are Trump's target are the undecided voters in the battleground states...the voters who are looking for a reason not to vote for Hillary Clinton but want to be reassured that Trump can be a decent President. There is also a group of Republicans who are begrudgingly supporting Hillary who might change their minds and gravitate back to Trump. Their support for Hillary Clinton is very soft. Those two groups can give the election to Trump and it doesn't matter whether Clinton wins the debates on points or not. Clinton needs to motivate the minority groups that are a key part of her base...Blacks and Hispanics and I don't think that her performance accomplished that because I don't believe that the unmotivated voters from these groups even watched the debates. However, they can be reached by anti-Trump attack ads, minority politicians who are Clinton surrogates and Clinton's ground game, which may be decisive on Election Day. The other group that Clinton needs to make inroads with that could be decisive for her are young voters, especially the ones who supported Bernie Sanders. I think that she did make some headway with that group tonight. To summarize, both side accomplished some of what they needed to do. No knockdowns though.