Thursday, October 20, 2016
Trump Won the Debate But Changed Nothing About the Race
Weekly Standard by Fred Barnes --
Third presidential debates usually don't matter. And there's a reason. The candidate who's behind tries to avoid mistakes made in the earlier debates and sound more clear-minded and knowledgeable. The candidate who's ahead simply plays it safe.
The result is a debate unlikely to change the fundamentals of a campaign. And that was the case Wednesday night. It was Donald Trump's best debate and Hillary Clinton's worst. But it's doubtful Trump's performance did more than keep him from falling further behind.
That's not nothing. It means Trump has a faint chance of closing the six-percentage-point gap (in the Fox News poll) between himself and Clinton. No candidate has come from that far behind with less than three weeks to go in a presidential race and won. Hubert Humphrey in 1968 and Gerald Ford in 1976 closed fast but lost.