October 06, 2016

What To Expect In The Second Presidential Debate

UPDATE (10/8/16 at 2:45 p.m.): Given what has happened in the past 24 hours, the stakes of Sunday night’s debate have reached new heights:

If you thought the first debate was exciting, this one is shaping up to be even wilder.

The two most disliked presidential candidates in modern American political history, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, will face off on Sunday at 9 p.m. ET in the second of three presidential debates. It will be moderated by Martha Radditz and Anderson Cooper.

Play Daily Pnut’s debate drinking game or give us your predictions for what will happen during the second debate.

Will It Be Different Than The First Debate?

The second debate is a town hall format, which means that the moderators will ask half the questions and supposed undecided voters in the audience will ask the other half.

Both campaigns claim the format will advantage their candidate. “She is very used to the format. She likes it. She likes answering questions from individual citizens. She listens hard, she relates to people,” said Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

“The town hall format is really a sweet spot for him because he’s the one out there with voters every single day,” said Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway.

Another possible difference: Trump may prepare this time. 

What Does Hillary Clinton Need To Do To Win?

If polls are any indication, Hillary Clinton was the clear winner of the first debate. If she can create as many great memes and gifs as she did in the last debate, she’ll be the social media winner. 

To be the substantive winner, Clinton will need to bring the same mastery of policy she had in the first debate as well as responses to attacks on the Clinton Foundation and her time as Secretary of State.

Look for Clinton to have another Alicia Machado anecdote to pull out as well. 

What Does Donald Trump Need To Do To Win?

The bar was pretty low before the last debate, and now it’s even lower (if that’s possible). Even the Clinton campaign is expecting Trump to be better prepared. “We expected a more focused, more prepared Trump at this debate,” said Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook.

You can expect him to have attacks ready on both Clinton’s well-known scandals (emails, Benghazi) as well as her record as a senator and secretary of state. 

Can We Expect Anything Crazy To Happen?

Who knows. Political debates have gotten whacky this fall. Here’s what we’ve already seen:

Get all the latest campaign shenanigans in our weekly #Pnut4Prez campaign trail update.

Yes, I want to sound marginally more intelligent: