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Politics & Elections
WSIU's News Team brings you previews and ongoing coverage of the 2015 Illinois Municipal Elections.00000179-2466-d250-a579-e46f49960001

WSIU InFocus: Analyzing the Final Presidential Debate

Todd Graham, SIU Debate Coach
Saluki Debate Director Todd Graham

SIU's debate coach gives Hillary Clinton an A-minus, and Donald Trump an F for their third and final Presidential debate.

In Wednesday night's contest, Todd Graham says both candidates executed their strategies well. But he says while Clinton's strategies were good, Trump's were bad - including one to shore up a base of support when he should be speaking to undecided voters.
"That's not going to win him any more votes. And in fact, in that debate, doing things like saying 'I'll keep you in suspense' and 'I'll tell you at the time' when he's talking about whether he'll accept the results of the Presidential Election is speaking to no one but the die-hards in his base, and everyone else in this country is frightened by that prospect."

Maybe she should have used this tactic even more. ~Todd Graham

Graham says Hillary Clinton's an A-minus comes from combining good strategies with good execution. He says her strategies to look presidential, compare her record with Donald Trump's, and bait her opponent were good. He says she was only graded down in the second tactic - comparing her policies with her opponent's:
"But if there's any complaint I have, maybe she should have used this tactic even more. I would literally do it in every answer."

You do not win a debate by lying. ~Todd Graham

Trump, meanwhile, earned an F in Graham's scoring. He says while he executed them well, Trump's strategies were all bad - avoiding policy discussions, shoring up his base, and avoiding the truth.
"You do not win a debate by lying. And Donald Trump is the worst overt liar in Presidential debates that we have ever seen."

Across all three debates, Graham gave Clinton two B's in addition to this A-minus, while he gave Trump two F's and a D-plus.

The two candidates are now in their final push, with the election less than three weeks away.