Donald Trump smiling during a TV appearance

The world will be tuning in tomorrow, October 9, to see Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump face off on the debate stage for round two of the presidential debate cycle. It’s sure to be full of tense exchanges, wild figures, and frantic fact-checking by NPR and others. Everyone wants to know: Who will win the second presidential debate?

Trump had difficulty controlling the conversation during the first presidential debate.¬†For round two, Trump will have to capitalize on key opportunities to turn the conversation around. Hillary’s prepared quips earned her points in the polls after the last debate, and Trump can’t afford to let Hillary inch ahead any further.

A FiveThirtyEight graph from October 7 showing Clinton's polling lead over Trump
A FiveThirtyEight graph from October 7 showing Clinton’s polling lead over Trump

You’ll be able to catch the second presidential debate on TV with all of the major US news networks. If that doesn’t appeal to you, it’ll also be live streamed on the Facebook pages of several news organizations, on several news channels’ YouTube pages, and on many of the news channels’ websites themselves. There is no shortage of ways to watch.

The action will start at 9 pm Eastern Time and will continue until 10:30 pm. Most of the news channels covering the debate will have hours of coverage both before and after the actual debate itself.

It’ll be worth staying up late to watch.

Who Won the First Presidential Debate?

We previously covered the first presidential debate and gave our opinion on who won that contest. Full disclosure: I thought Hillary won the first debate. Hold on! Before you pickup a pitchfork and mob my house, hear me out.

The reason I thought Hillary won¬†was because she simply performed better at debating. She appeared sharp and ready for the evening, while Trump had difficulty capitalizing on abundant¬†opportunities to control the conversation. That’s an important mistake¬†because¬†Trump excels at controlling the conversation.

Donald Trump speaking to a crowd
Donald Trump speaking to a crowd

His verbal stumbles during the first presidential debate were certainly uncharacteristic of the normally brash but on-point Donald Trump.

Trump Still Won With his Base

And that’s incredibly important. As much as he struggled to score big with average¬†viewers, he certainly managed to appeal to his base. Just check social media. Donald’s supporters think he won the first presidential debate, and in many ways, he did.

This campaign has been about political insiders ruining the country and outsiders being a breath of fresh air. Hillary Clinton is the dictionary definition of a political insider, and Donald Trump has been very effective at making her experience in Washington appear negatively to frustrated Americans.

Clinton was sure to mention her many years of public service multiple times during the first debate, but it didn’t sit¬†well with the audience. That’s because Trump managed to change the conversation here. He retorted along the lines of, “you¬†have had an incredibly long political career – and you’ve produced few or negative results. Why should we give you another chance?”¬†Ouch.

Hillary Clinton smiles confidently during the first presidential debate
Hillary Clinton smiles confidently during the first presidential debate

Hillary Clinton is a career politician, so of course she did better debating –¬†the first time around. It will be interesting to see how Trump performs at the second presidential debate tomorrow. Trump will certainly be more prepared.¬†He has no choice if he wants to win.

Who will win the second presidential debate? For Hillary, victory will depend on more of the same. Dodging Trump’s comments, answering questions as smoothly as possible, and appearing¬†as a viable option for president are all at the top of the to do list.

For Trump, winning the second presidential debate is a bit more complicated.

How Trump Can Win the Second Presidential Debate

Trump’s missteps during the first presidential debate, while improving his “regular guy” image, did him no favors with the average viewer. He needs a seriously revised game plan. Depending on his outsider perspective to take him to the White House isn’t something he can bank on, and he knows it.

Who will win the second presidential debate? Trump could – if he pulls it together.

Serious research and preparation are in order. Trump won’t be able to beat Hillary on the debate stage without preparing first. Watching him stumble during the first presidential debate was actually painful.

There are various things Trump needs to research. He shouldn’t pull a complete 180 on his existing tactics, though. He doesn’t need to know all the exact numbers (he knew and cited an impressive amount of factual numbers during the first presidential debate). Instead, Trump needs to research Hillary’s various scandals and capitalize on them in front of a watching America.

Who will win the second presidential debate? Trump?
Trump giving a speech in front of his Boeing 757 jet

Some of the things Hillary is accused of doing are heinous. The accusations against her range from giving priority to top donors of the Clinton Foundation while Secretary of State to murder.¬†Yeah, that second allegation is more of an unfunny joke than anything else – but the first accusation of her giving government time to people who greased her foundation’s wallet – that’s serious. I and many others want to hear about that.

As much as the media calls out Trump for his various loud and sometimes simply incorrect statements, Trump should call out Hillary on some of the very serious things she may have done. Further, he should do it on the debate stage in front of America Рand the moderator should leave her to explain herself where appropriate.

It’s odd how Clinton told the FBI over 30 times she could not recall anything about her own emails, but during the debate, brought up specific (albeit incorrect) details about Trump going back decades. Odd, indeed.

Also, what about her health?¬†A candidate’s health is imperative to their ability to execute the office of president. These are all questions that need serious answers.

Who Will Win the Second Presidential Debate?

It’s a hot question: Who will win the second presidential debate? With national polls (on average) showing Trump and Hillary within ~5 points of each other, there’s a lot on the line going into the second presidential debate. Trump simply can’t afford to give Hillary anymore ground.

Likewise, Hillary needs to maintain her narrow lead – or widen it. When Trump ties an opponent, historically, we’ve seen him gain the edge. Hillary needs as much “safety room” as possible. She needs to define herself as the clear choice for president.

With the American people so frustrated, that isn’t exactly easy to do. Trump has masterfully tapped into America’s frustration – and frustrated Americans despise “the system,” which Hillary embodies.

Who will win the second presidential debate – Trump? If Trump can¬†regain his footing, he has a serious chance of flipping the polls around in his favor and “winning” the second presidential debate. We’ll have to wait and see until tomorrow to know for sure. One thing is certain – this isn’t over.

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