First presidential debate may shape the election

Hillary Clinton at a campaign rally in Harrisburg on July 29 and Donald Trump during a one-on-one interview with ABC27 News at Cumberland Valley High School in Mechanicsburg on Aug. 1. (WHTM photos)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Jim Lee of Susquehanna Polling & Research says Monday night’s debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton may end up being the most watched in recent history.

Lee also says voter turnout may be low in November.

“Both have such high negatives,” said Lee, “It seems like a lot of people are voting more against them, than or their own candidate.”

Lee says since the other third party candidates will not be taking part, voters may take another look at Trump and Clinton.

“There is [a] precedent to show that some of that vote will go back to Clinton or Trump,” said Lee, “If the Johnson or Stine people are watching the debate, maybe they will see something they like in the other candidates.”

Lee says history has shown that the first debate can have a lasting impact on a presidential election. He says that was the case in 1980 when incumbent Jimmy Carter lost the debate against then former California Governor Ronald Reagan.

“The polls were tight, it was not until the first debate when Reagan cleaned his clock,” said Lee, “We saw movement after that, all go to Reagan, and it ended up being a land slide for Reagan that year.”

Patrick Murphy is from Cumberland County. Murphy says he knows Monday’s showdown will attract a lot of viewers, but he will not be one of them.

“I already know what they are going to say,” said Murphy, “They have been saying the same thing, for the past several months.”

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