Rasmussen Reports: The Pollsters say the Debate Winner is…

Rasmussen Reports: The Pollsters say the Debate Winner is…  by Fran Coombs.

Hyper-competent bureaucrat vs. changemaker – that’s the choice Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump laid out for Americans at their first debate….

A high percentage of voters say every four years that they are likely to watch the presidential debates, but most also admit that the debates don’t change their minds: They usually stay with the candidate they liked from the start. But with 18% of voters sticking with a third-party candidate or undecided just five weeks before Election Day, it’s not surprising that 51% consider the Clinton-Trump debates more important than the presidential candidate debates in previous election years.

Both candidates cleared their low bars:

For Trump, who many of his political opponents and much of the media have portrayed as a know-nothing buffoon, the sheer fact that he was able to go head-to-head with a seasoned politician like Clinton – without heading off on angry, irrelevant tangents – was a victory of sorts.  He perhaps surprised many by not responding in kind when Clinton tagged him as a racist and a sexist, a message she can be expected to pound on in the coming weeks in hopes of motivating black and women voters who so far are lukewarm to her candidacy.

For Clinton whose health has been a question mark since a videotaped collapse on 9/11, her vigorous, clear-eyed performance was a big win.  But still lacking is the human element in her policy proposals, that sense of  “feeling your pain” that her husband was so good at on the campaign trail.

Moderator bias was obvious to nearly everyone:

Voters fully expect debate moderators to favor the Democratic candidate, so no one will be surprised that NBC’s Lester Holt spent far more time last night on the non-existent controversy over President Obama’s birth certificate than over Clinton’s near-indictment for mishandling classified information through a private e-mail server.  In fact, if Trump hadn’t raised the e-mail issue, one wonders if it would even have come up.

What the pollsters say is important:

Rasmussen Reports polling generally finds that Trump has the issue advantage. Voters don’t want more government.  They’re suspicious of free trade deals and want to see them renegotiated. Illegal immigration, which was scarcely mentioned last night, and domestic terrorism are major concerns. Voters like the job their local cops are doing and think only Trump is on their side.

Clinton, in many ways, offers a continuation and in some cases an expansion of current federal government policies at a time when nearly 70% of voters are angry at those policies. Only 28% think the country is headed in the right direction. …

Many in the media will probably declare Clinton the winner of last night’s first debate, but many voters will suspect that those articles were written long in advance and tune them out. The polls should tell us very quickly who the winner really is.