William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Debate Open Thread: Trump Wins On Points In Two-Against-One Bout


Ladies and gentlemen…the main event! In this corner, the challenger Donald “The Donald” Trump, six foot two, two hundred and twenty-two pounds, a reach of seventy-three inches in the Red White & Blue shorts. And in this corner, the incumbent-ish Hillary “Tell No Lies” Clinton, five foot four, one hundred and thirty pounds, a reach of thirty inches in the Polyester Red shorts. And there’s the bell!

(These are live, unedited notes on the fight.)

Clinton tried early on to land a climate change jab, which was batted away effortlessly by Trump. A roundhouse on “We’ll have a special prosecutor to enforce trade deals” whiffed. Trump responded with one on the kidney with NAFTA and TPP.

“You are going to approve one of the biggest tax increases in history” sets her back on her heels. Hillary thrust back with a website Fact Check advertisement that hit nothing but air. Trump says, “Go to her web site. She tells her how to fight ISIS” lands but without much force.

Blows back and forth about tax cuts and increases. Quick “I have a feeling that by the end of the evening that I’ll be blamed for everything” by Hillary answered with sotto voce “Why not” by Trump. Hillary’s tax-cut-for-college-loans-that-will-boost-the-economy draws no blood. “We are in a big fat ugly bubble” Fed jab by Trump hits. Lester Holt’s request for tax release hits, but not in a soft spot. Countered by Trump’s pledge to release taxes if Hillary gives up her emails. Pain. Returned by Hillary’s insinuations “There could be anything in there! There’s something he’s hiding!” One or two blows get through, the rest are parried.

Hillary scores a point about stiffed paychecks. Her bankruptcy footwork blows by Trump’s “We took advantage of laws.”

“Gun epidemic” is an own blow from Hillary. Trump’s law and order, stop and frisk left-right combo stings. Trump fact checks Lester Holt on stop and frisk, a mistake on Holt’s part to enter debate; he scores a point for Trump in doing so. Hillary’s condescension towards blacks backfires slightly. “Our police are outgunned” does nothing; her call for profiling to buy guns is an own blow. Hillary tacitly admits police are implicitly biased towards blacks. Ouch.

Trump’s super-predator reminder to Hillary hits and her head waggles (her tell when she’s caught). Trump catches Hillary about murder rate in New York. She runs to the corner about safe neighborhoods and respecting rights. Trump scores a body blow with his “See you later, I’ll see you in four years” about pandering for votes among blacks. A quick jab about her health and staying home smacks hard.

Lester Holt’s attempts at birth certificates jabs miss; Trump hits Holt back by reminding Hillary was the original birther. Hillary joins Holt in calling birtherism “racist”, a punch which only hurts leftists.

War drums beat by Hillary with a Russian tattoo doesn’t hurt The Donald. Admirals and Generals over political hacks causes grief. The DNC break-in scores another quick blow. But Trump misses a chance to unleash the e-mail scandal. Hillary’s war plans for ISIS does nothing. Trump’s reminder that Obama and Hillary led to ISIS’s creation doesn’t send her reeling. Her come back about vacuuming up intelligence salvo falls short.

“You started the Iran deal; that’s another beauty” draws a trickle of blood. As does Trump’s call for NATO nations to pony up their dues. Holt jumps in to defend Hillary claiming the record shows Trump supported the Iraq war. Trump beats back the double-team attack, but it costs him a little. “I have much better judgement than she does. I also have a much better temperament than she does” looks like it doesn’t hurt, but it causes an internal bruise which won’t show for days. Hillary’s boasting of the Iran deal is an own blow.

The Iran, China, North Korean nuclear nexus razzle dazzle adds points to the challenger. Hillary tries to block with ineffective words about honoring agreements. “He says it’s a secret plan [to defeat ISIS]. The only secret is that he has no plan” dies aborning. Another own blow. “We cannot be the policeman of the world” slides in for a point.

Holt lets Trump mention Hillary’s stamina. Holt realizes his error and tries to stop Trump. Trump slaps Holt away. “His has experience. But it’s bad experience” uppercut bops her head back. She comes back with Trumps hates women. Trump retaliates with Rosie O’Donnell. Even-steven on the exchange.

Judge’s quick decision—but first a word on what a win means. No (or close to no) Hillary supporter changed her mind, and no (or close to no) Trump supporter changed his because of this debate. The questions is how many ‘undecideds’ changed theirs. So the Judge says: A tie on points. But if we have to call a victor, it goes to Trump because he had two foes, and Hillary had one.

Morning update As of 6 AM next morning, the Drudge poll unsurprisingly puts Trump as winner (80% to 20%). But even more interesting is the Time poll, which put it as a 50-50 tie. This is significant because Time is a standard media organ, meaning if Hillary really won that poll would likely show it. CNBC has Trump as winner 62% to 38%. On the other hand, the Breitbart-Gravis flash poll (immediately after the debate) gave the edge to Hillary, 48% to 43%, which is odd: 9% is missing. In that poll, 2% of undecideds switched to Trump, and none for Hillary. That makes this poll another tie.

More polls will be coming in over the week as matters sink in. But the early indications agree with what I wrote last night.

Update More polls, some giving the edge to Clinton. Huffington Post went full splenetic for Hillary, which is no surprise.

Apropos: CNN over-sampled Ds to Rs two to one. See also this on why they do that kind of thing.


  1. All I could stomach was the first ten minutes before having to turn to the MNF game and a pre-season hockey game. Donald’s cluelessness and Hillary’s platitudes were unbearable.

  2. Just a comment on the Trump tax returns.

    He has said that he is being audited by the IRS. That means he may have to amend his returns a few times. It makes no sense to release them and then later have to update the tax return given to the public, maybe more than once. Trump has plausible deniability for holding them back until October 15th, the due date for a tax filing extension.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if his forms then show mostly positive things, right before the election, thereby negating the Dem argument that he hasn’t come clean.

    He’s set himself up for a win-win situation with 2 minutes left in the last quarter.

  3. Even the Fox news focus group consultant makes this a win for Clinton–something like two out of three undecideds that made a decision went to her. This is the only group that currently matters, crucial in a “dead heat” race (if its really that close). That finding aligns with the focus groups from the Liberal Left media.

    For the candidates, the only outcome of the debates that matters is getting more voters on their side. Being right, being more eloquent, being more ____ matters not a whit if the added votes don’t materialize.

    Stop & Frisk — this is the famous Terry Stop case (Ohio) updated; police DO have the right, with sufficient cause, to do this. The actual case gone to trial of late, with the judge being recused, etc. was and remains not a simple case of, “it’s been ruled unconstitutional.” Though it was, if temporarily… Only Fox seems to have addressed this in proper complete detail & context and pending actions. Meantime, many fact-checkers are woefully misrepresenting the facts on this (and, apparently, believing they’re right when they’re not). One can find the truth on-line, but it may take some digging.

    That aside, I’m baffled by how ignorant the masses seem to be, still:

    – Clinton advocates new/more/better jobs…then unabashedly intends to increase taxes on business (funds that can’t go to paying wages), AND, increase regulatory burdens (making it harder to compete on the world’s stage). This makes no sense whatsoever — but what is clear is that her politics of envy (against the rich) are superseding rationality. This is an appeal to a very base instinct/feeling in much of the population, and for that reason much of the population fails to see the incompatibilities there.

    – Trump’s bankruptcies — there were about four or so (and in a couple of the casinos he/his firm was a minority owner). He’s started over 100 (something closer to 500; but using 100 makes the numbers easy to follow): Half or so of new businesses fail in five years…but Trump’s success rate is on the order of 94% (better actually given he’s started well over 100). Phenomenal. For some reason, much of the population sees those few failures/bankruptcies (in arenas where ALL the competitors suffered/failed as well) as prima facie proof of his incompetence! This makes no sense whatsoever.

    – With hundreds of businesses, and thousands of contractors, we hear of ONLY a few (so few they can be named) who’ve been, allegedly, ‘stiffed.’ This means the vast majority were paid on time/as negotiated. One expects some contractors to under-perform/deliver, and not be paid accordingly … and some of those to disagree & sue over it. That there are so few, out of so many, indicates this is not a problem.

    – Why do so many disadvantaged living in big declining cities (Detroit is a poster example) that keep on getting worse off (Detroit is letting some areas decay to farmland!) keep endorsing Democratic politicians that speak so nicely but keep on only delivering value & enrichment for themselves and not their constituents? This makes no sense. After politicians keep on promising the same wonderful returns, and keep on not delivering…one would expect the under/un-serviced constituents to recognize their worsening situation and try a different approach. But they don’t.

    For those wondering about Trump’s integrity, or his outlandish ‘going-in’ positions, see Scott Adam’s blog, which explains his tactics in some detail. There one can be reminded, for example, that Trump ALWAYS starts with a hardball position and then negotiates down from there — gaining concessions for what’s been given up — traded is the better term. That’s negotiation strategy 101 and something he wrote about in his famous book, Art of the Deal (this is unlike some politicians that advertised U.S. exit strategy from Iraq in advance, tipping off the enemy how they could best proceed longer-term … an idiotic strategy that aided ISIS/ISIL in coming to power). We’ve seen him back down already on some issues, and we can expect, if he wins, to do similar.

  4. Just like Trump’s temperament, the polling is volatile. Any half-truth (if there is such a thing at all) can send the poll results (or the undecided) in the opposite direction at this point.

    Her bankruptcy footwork blows by Trump’s “We took advantage of laws.”

    It takes a special kind of person to be proud of taking advantage of laws and other people in any ways. Gotta say I am just not that special.

    Trump fact checks …
    Is this a joke?

    Mr. Briggs,

    For the umpteen times, I love that your politics stinks. I understand neither your support for Palin and Iraqi War and Trump, nor the hate towards Hillary Clinton. Why are you so charitable towards Trump but not Hillary? I image if Hillary did what Trump has done, you would praise her too. Right? Of course, it’s you prerogative to hold any opinions and make innuendos on the internet! I do always wonder what makes people think and behave the way they do.

  5. Going to the candidates’ debate
    Laugh about it, shout about it
    When you’ve got to choose
    Every way you look at this you lose

    Simon And Garfunkel – Mrs Robinson

    Truly prophets of our time

  6. All lies and jest still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregard the rest.
    lie la lie, lie la lie lie lie la lie, lie la lie,
    lie le lie lie lie la lie le la la lie!
    love it!

  7. No matter how conceited Paul Simon is (was)
    (I think he’d give the Donald a run for his money on that score)
    You’ve got to hand it to him.

  8. My 12 year old daughter watched with me last night, and was surprised to hear Trump mention how high the national debt is. I asked her if she had any idea how much $19T is, “it’s a lot” was her answer. To help her visualize, I told her a 1″ stack of $100 bills amounts to $23,200, enough to buy a decent car. I asked her how high she thought a $19T stack of bills would be, she answered “70 feet?”. No, it would reach over 12,000 miles into space. She got quiet and thought about it, as did I. It makes me sick to think her generation will be saddled with the consequences of my generation’s inability to control government spending. A vote for HRC is a vote for more of the same.

  9. I recorded it and watched this morning.. I thank the blog host for spoilers.

    I don’t know who won. The Donald was very reserved and Hillary wasn’t quite as shrill as normal. She did manage to duck the email thing though. Both of them engaged in rude interruptions.

    I don’t like Trump but like Hillary less. I found myself paying more attention to Trump than Hillary but then I’ve heard Hillary say the same things before. Nothing new. I’m sure the Syllies of the world have an opposite view.

    Hillary was dressed rather strangely in a red Commissar looking pants suit. The only thing missing were medals and epaulets. Would fit rather nicely into Falco’s rap song, “”Der Kommissar”.

    Equally strangely we had the Democratic candidate clad in red while the Republican candidate wore a blue tie. Both colors the opposite of those used in recent electoral maps. Perhaps attempts to reach across the aisle?

  10. Dav,

    Strange since Trump is the one who value totalitarian rulers with is mouth salivating at the possibilities.

    Similar to Trump you guys live in your own reality.

  11. I watched the debate. Can’t say I enjoyed it, though.

    Hillary’s modus operandi was apparent early on – accuse Trump of her own worst weaknesses (shady financial dealings, bad decisions, racism, lack of accomplishments, misogyny, etc, etc. etc). I.e., Demonrat SOP – distract and make your opponent squander offensive opportunities playing defense.

    I found myself selfishly wishing that Ted Cruz was up there. He would have left Hillary a quivering smiling puddle. As fun as that would have been, the future of the country is at stake, and I don’t think Cruz could have won the general. Now Ben Carson, on the other hand . . .

    Immediately after the debate ended, I found myself thinking that Hillary was the clear winner. However, with the passage of a few hours, I’m left with the impression that Hillary came across as slimy lawyerly, and Trump as a badgered witness who nonetheless stood his ground.

    The one moment in the debate that I think will stick in my mind is when Trump repeated “law and order”. I could envision 50% of the country standing up cheering, and another 25% nodding in agreement, and last 25% seething because they had been revealed.

  12. BrianH, I have difficulty with numbers like 12. How old is your daughter, in terms I can understand?

  13. With supporters like you lot who needs Hillary supporters.

  14. Milton, by your assessment, 75% of Americans are dumb as rocks and 25% are dangerous criminals.


  15. Jersey,

    My guess is that way more than 75% are as dumb as rocks good guys, and far less than 25% are “dangerous criminals” who do not blindly accept fashionable anti-civilisation misanthropy.

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