SPU community shares post-debate thoughts

Final debate of the election season sparks dissenting points of view amongst professors and students

Kyle Morrison, News Editor

Many students watched the first debate, pictured here. The second and final debate of the presidential election took place Thursday evening. Speaking time was more closely controlled with mics being turned off periodically. (Gabrialla Cockerell)

The final presidential debate before election day on November 3rd took place in Nashville, Tennessee on Thursday night. President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden went head to head, discussing COVID-19, race relations, immirgration, election security, health care, the economy, and climate change, amongst other key issues in the 2020 race.

There was a wide array of thoughts on the debate amongst members of the Seattle Pacific community.

Second year Rebecca Cavanaugh said that she thought this debate was a lot better than the first one.

“I liked the muting aspect of it, I felt like it was much more civil and I could hear what each of their points were, whereas last time I was so stressed, because I couldn’t figure out who was talking,” Cavanaugh explained. “They both did pretty well, but I base it on the factualness of all their statements, so I still think Biden won.”

One of the pressing issues during this election season is the coronavirus response. The global pandemic which has killed over a million people worldwide and over 200,000 people in the United States was the first topic addressed in Thursday night’s debate.

President Trump insisted that the US was rounding the corner and that a vaccine was on the way, while former Vice President Biden criticized the President’s response, putting responsibility for the country’s death toll on his hands.

First year Cayley Rojas found both candidates’ plans to combat the virus to be unsatisfactory.

“Neither party really has an answer to the COVID thing, and I don’t think really anyone does, so I can’t really blame them on that front,” Rojas explained. 

Political Science professor Dr. Reed Davis was impressed by both candidates’ debate performance, but he does not think the debate changed anyone’s mind. 

“Both Trump and Biden exceeded expectations. I thought Trump was relatively restrained and Biden was relatively focused,” Davis said. “I thought Trump hit Biden pretty hard on the corruption issue, but I don’t think that’s going to matter… I think each team breathes a sigh of relief, more than it does a victory dance, everyone just wants to avoid the major screw ups.”

First year Rayna Martin did not have a positive outlook on the debate. She came out disappointed by both candidates. 

“I thought both candidates worded things very poorly, but that Trump’s reasoning was far more illogical than Biden’s,” Martin said. “I’ll probably be voting for the Democratic Party, less on account of how the debate went, and more on account of the values of the party this time.”

According to The Washington Post at least 51.8 million Americans have already voted. Election day is on November 3, and although the debates may be interesting and fun, SPU history professor Dr. Ruth Ediger explained that they have no bearing on how a president will execute the office.

“I have a love-hate relationship with these debates,” Ediger said. “I love the theater part of the debates, and I love watching as each candidate, Democrat or Republican, has these got you moments… but the reality is just because someone does well in these debates doesn’t mean they are necessarily going to be a good president.”