Having honed their shouting skills at past football games and presidential debates, College Republicans and Democrats loudly cheered on their candidates during Wednesday night’s debate.
About 100 College Democrats and 40 College Republicans gathered Wednesday to watch the debate from separate locations.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton largely focused on economics and women’s rights in the final debate, specifically job growth, abortion laws and how each candidate would appoint Supreme Court justices.
Clinton said she would appoint judges who are supportive of women’s and LGBTQ+ rights and oppose current campaign finance law. Conversely, Trump said the 20 conservative justices he named would support the 2nd amendment and pro-life stances.
Concerning abortion, Trump said his appointments would likely overturn Roe v. Wade. In this case, abortion law would go to the states. Clinton strongly voiced her support for the court’s decision as well as services provided by Planned Parenthood.
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Moderator Chris Wallace said the national debt is currently at 77 percent of the gross domestic product, according to the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. He said it would rise to 86 percent under Clinton’s plan and 105 percent under Trump’s plan over ten years.
Throughout the event, College Republicans laughed and clapped whenever Trump would make derisive comments toward Clinton. Similarly, the College Democrats chuckled when Trump spoke over the moderator and groaned at his claims that no one respects women more than him.
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College Democrats Chair Augie McGinnity-Wake said this debate similarly showed the biggest contrast between two presidential candidates. He said he would have liked to see Trump talk more specifically about his policy positions.
“She presented her plans to us,” McGinnity-Wake said. “Donald Trump spent his time yelling about things.”
Kayla Klein, a freshman member of College Republicans, said in comparison to the other two debates, the moderator appeared less biased, and the debate seemed fair.
Kate Amborn, a freshman member of the College Republicans thought the debate was generally civilized and Trump’s debate skills drastically improved.
She said in particular Trump did well addressing allegations about degrading women.
“I think they’re coming up and becoming more serious because he is running against a woman,” Amborn said. “I don’t think they would be as big of a deal if it was like a presidential debate between two men.”
Both girls said this election is going to change the trajectory of the county. Amborn said the election will impact the country in ways that no other elections have previously.
McGinnity-Wake said he was pleased with the turnout for the watch party and participation in canvassing efforts in the last 20 days before the election. He encouraged students to get out and vote Nov. 8.