This Thursday, President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden will debate for the final time for the 2020 presidential election, on Sept. 29. Students at Northwestern State University tuned in to watch the first presidential debate of the campaign season.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee, and President Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, set out to get their platforms across to the American people with Fox News host Christopher Wallace moderating.
Howie Hawkins, the Green party nominee, and Jo Jorgensen, the Libertarian Party nominee, were not invited to participate in this presidential debate.
Em Nobles, a sophomore, felt the debate was intolerable.
“It was treated as a joke,” Nobles said.
While the candidates agreed to the debate rules before it started, they were not strictly enforced.
Each candidate was also required to take a COVID-19 test before the debate, but Trump arrived too late to be given the test.
The six predetermined segments of the debate were: each candidate’s record, the Supreme Court nomination, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, race relations, recent violence in cities across the country, election integrity and the nation’s economy.
Darrin Nixon, a sophomore, was happy to see the candidates discuss race relations.
“I’m glad they covered the racial climate,” said Nixon.
Clayton Ashworth, a senior history major, felt that the debate could have been better.
“It was a big missed opportunity for Trump,” said Ashworth.
The debate scheduled for Oct. 15. was canceled due to Trump being diagnosed with COVID-19 a week earlier.
The Commission on Presidential Debates offered to have the debate virtually. Biden agreed, but the plan was scrapped when Trump declined to participate in a virtual setting.
Instead, Biden and Trump each held town halls at the same time on separate news stations.
Nixon saw this as a strategic move by the current president.
“If the entire country has been working and learning virtually, why can’t he do a debate virtually?” Nixon said. “The American people deserve to see the presidential candidates again before election day.”
Ashworth felt the cancellation was in Biden’s favor.
“That was the plan from the start. I don’t think more debates were ever going to happen,” said Ashworth. “It wouldn’t be in Biden’s favor to have more debates because he is winning.”