JMU political science professor reacts to final presidential debate

Published: Oct. 23, 2020 at 6:03 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — Thursday night was the final presidential debate before election day, and it was drastically different than the first.

JMU Political Science Professor Bob Roberts says that this time around, President Trump did the same thing but in a different style, and that Biden took a less cautious approach and attacked Trump more, putting Trump on the defensive.

“Obviously Trump took a lot of grief for how he behaved the first one, so they weren’t going to do the second one the same way," Roberts said. "However, I thought they anticipated that Biden would be acting the same way he did the first one and he completely changed his style the second one. So I think they were caught off guard.”

Roberts says both candidates showed more restraint and were able to get their points across on different issues. He says President Trump did not moderate any of his stances. Roberts thinks the most dramatic position the president took was how he would handle COVID-19.

“He’s willing to accept a large number of many more dead people," Roberts said. "Biden was saying I’m not. Okay? And Trump is saying we can’t in a sense sacrifice the entire economy, and throw us into a depression theoretically.”

With the election being less than two weeks away, Roberts says this debate has little impact on who people will vote for and points out that many have already voted. He also says if poll numbers continue the way they are, there would be a record turnout of voters.

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