(WWJ) The first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is being billed as one of the pivotal moments in American politics.
Democrat Clinton has seen her once commanding lead shrink against Republican Trump’s bombast. A highly coveted 20 percent of the electorate remains undecided.
So what can we expect to see at Monday’s 90-minute face-off at Hofstra University in New York? It airs 9-10:30 p.m. EST live on news radio WWJ 950 and on Facebook. Scott Pelley, CBS Evening News anchor and managing editor will lead CBS News’ live prime time coverage of the debate, joined by CBS News’ experienced team of political journalists. They’ll also be live on CBSN, CBS News’ 24/7 streaming news service.
“I think they’re both above average debaters, better debaters than they are candidates in general,” said Aaron Kall, director of debate at the University of Michigan. “I think they’re both going to do well. They both did well in the primaries and now you’re going to have this major clash between the two of them. They have contrasting styles, they’re preparing for the debate differently.”
Clinton took the week off from campaigning to hone her debate style at home with a circle of experts.
Trump says he’s playing it loose, though according to Reuters he’s been getting coaching from former Fox News Chief Executive Roger Ailes, but “does not want to be over-prepared.”
Clinton is a debate veteran with 40 under her belt; newcomer Trump is more of an unknown entity, but he has plenty of practice in off-the-cuff public speaking.
“I am going to do my very best to communicate as clearly and fearlessly as I can in the face of the insults and the attacks and the bullying and the bigotry that we have seen coming from my opponent,” Clinton said on Tuesday on the Steve Harvey Radio show, per Reuters.
Will he insult her history, her health, her looks? Will she verbally lance, deflating him like a Thanksgiving parade balloon?
It’s unknown, but fascinating to many Americans who are expected to tune in in droves.
A record 67 million people watched the first debate between President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney in 2012, according to Kall.
Some pundits expect the upcoming debate to reach a staggering 100 million.