According to Nielsen Research, which measures TV audiences since 1976, the last pre-election TV debate between the US presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, held on October 19, 2016, assembled the third largest audience of viewers for 40 years. According to CNN poll, the victory, as after two previous rounds, belongs to the former Secretary of State. However, according to Pavel Sharikov, Director of the Center for Applied Research of the Institute of USA and Canada of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the candidates did not say anything new.
"There were no sensations. If anything catches your eye is the fact that both players were at their best. These were the most productive debates that have already taken place, - Sharikov said in an interview to www.valdaiclub.com. – New was the question whether the rivals would recognize the election results. Donald Trump said he would not respond to this question for a while. "
According to the expert, this Trump's phrase sounded quite controversial, because in last few weeks both candidates used "lowest dirty political technologies - provocations, dirty laundry, and publication of sex scandals." "By the way, the last debate also did not pass this topic," – Sharikov said.
By tradition, the presidential candidates exchanged mutual recriminations. Clinton recalled sex scandals with Trump and his disrespectful remarks about women. "Trump is trying to deny everything, but to deny means to be on the defensive, and the person who defends himself in political clashes, is in a losing position. Therefore, in response [to Clinton's statements] he went on the attack, accusing the Democrats that they want to falsify the election results. He tried to shift the public's attention from sex scandals to the "Democrats' conspiracy against Donald Trump", "- Sharikov said.
Moderator of the debate - a TV anchor Chris Wallace (FoxNews Channel), according to Sharikov, acted "as professionally as possible." "He asked questions that suggested a direct answer: yes or no. To suspect him of sympathy for this or that candidate during this debate was, of course, impossible ", - the expert said.
According to Sharikov, during the last debate Hillary Clinton, who earlier tried to fight against his rival, or to ignore him, "has found an ideal balance between ignoring and criticizing Trump." "The more Trump was criticized, the more it was better for him. This is just an example that any PR is a good PR. On what the popularity rests? On anything what is being said about you, good or bad, the main thing is that you should be in the spotlight, "- Sharikov said. In this debate Clinton often repelled Trump's attacks, simply shifting the conversation to another topic.
"From the beginning, when entering the presidential race, Trump made it clear that he will not be an ordinary politician. He will be aggressive, he will cross the line. But many of his statements have a common sense - a wall on the border with Mexico, borders closure against immigrants and so forth, "- said the expert.
However, in view of the scandals that are now pursuing Trump, it turns out that the ball is on the side of the Clinton field, Sharikov said. But whose side will swing the pendulum of the American democracy, we will know only on election day, November 8.