Presidential debate: Hillary Clinton won every live showdown against Trump but gap is narrowing, polls show

Ms Clinton has triumphed over Trump in each of the three debates but the margin of her success narrows each time

Siobhan Fenton
Social Affairs Correspondent
Thursday 20 October 2016 11:02
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The final Presidential Debate in 90 seconds

Hillary Clinton won every single presidential debate, according to opinion polls of voters, however her margin of success is narrowing, suggesting Donald Trump's popularity is growing just weeks before polling day.

Polls conducted by CNN following each debate suggest the Democrat candidate won a clean sweep of the three debates against her rival Donald Trump.

Following the first debate, 62 per cent of viewers said they thought Ms Clinton won.


 

Following the second debate, she was favoured by 57 per cent of those polled.


 

As the third and final debate drew to a close, the CNN poll found 52 per cent of viewers backed Ms Clinton.


 

There are now just over two weeks left before polling day and the narrowing gap will be cause for concern for Ms Clinton's campaign.

Overall opinion polls reflect different data to polls on debate performances and so perceptions of debate performance may not indicate voter intention. However, the figures suggest Mr Trump's popularity is growing and Ms Clinton's popularity is narrowing as the candidates get ever nearer to election day. The polls also suggest Mr Trump has thus far managed to survive numerous controversies which Ms Clinton sought to use to trounce him during the televised showdowns.

In general, fewer people say they will vote for Ms Clinton than say they think she won the debates. Opinion polls on voter intention have varied widely between sources. A Real Clear Politics Poll recently put Ms Clinton at 48 per cent compared to Mr Trump's 44 per cent. By contrast, a CBS News poll found her to have 51 per cent support compared to Mr Trump's 40 per cent.

An LA Times poll showed vastly different results again when it put Mr Trump ahead of Ms Clinton, with 46.5 per cent support compared to the latter's 43 per cent.

The election race has been one of the most dramatic and divisive in US history. The election has been mired with controversy after a number of women accused Mr Trump of sexual assault or harassment. He has strongly denied the allegations.

During the final debate, Mr Trump hinted he may not accept the outcome of the election, as refused to say if he would take it as binding. He said: “Hillary should not be allowed to run. Just in that sense it’s rigged. She should not be allowed to run given what she did.”

Pressed if he would accept the results in November, Mr Trump replied: “I’ll tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense.”

He also caused controversy as he called Ms Clinton "such a nasty woman". In response, women have taking to social media to 'reclaim' the term.

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