It was the third and FINAL presidential debate before the 2016 General Election. It was vitally important to Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump. He came into the debate nine points down, and he desperately needed to convince independent voters that he was not the same man they heard on that disgusting video, just two weeks ago. As Donald would say, he needed to win "bigly."
For the first half-hour, it looked like Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump was really going to try to address the issues. But 30 minutes was all the attention he could muster. He soon resorted to his eye-rolling, opponent interrupting, flip-flopping self.
Trump refused to condemn (or even blame) Russia for the hacking of American computers in an attempt to influence the election; He emphatically stated that he had not apologized to his wife, because he had nothing to apologize about; and he boldly (and ironically) proclaimed that "No one respects women more than me." And, it went downhill from there.
Granted, Trump interrupted less, and snorted less, than he did in the prior debates, and he didn't call Hillary Clinton a "liar" multiple times, as he did in the second debate (along with calling her the "devil" and saying she had "hate in her heart." However, he continued to misconstrue the facts, and he called her a "nasty woman."
Trump's biggest blunder was his refusal to confirm that he would accept the results of the election. In fact, he announced that the election was "rigged" and he told us that he would keep us all "in suspense", with regard to whether he would concede if he lost the election. This one faux pas will likely be the "nail in the coffin" because it represents his lack of respect for American democracy.
Political scientists have researched the "rigged" issue and determined that, in the history of American elections, there have been only 31 cases of fraudulent voting out of a billion votes in a four-year period. On average, that would be eight cases in a one-year period, and it is doubtful that Donald Trump will lose by only eight votes.
Hillary Clinton has been rapidly gaining support, especially since the first debate. This support comes not just from her base, but from Donald Trump's base, which has been traditionally described as "uneducated white men." Clinton is now ahead with all men (46% v. 44%), all white women (46% v. 45%), and high school graduates (48% v. 44%).
Clinton was always ahead with women, but the gender gap has now reached 17 points, and is predicted to be the largest gender gap in American history. Particularly, significant is the partisan support of each candidate. Clinton has support from 93% of Democrats, but Trump has only 85% support from Republicans.
In Texas, the gap is closing amazingly close. According to the Washington Post, as of last weekend, Donald Trump was winning Texas by only two percentage points. (In comparison, in 2008, Senator John McCain was ahead of President Barack Obama in Texas by 12 points.) But Texas isn't the only surprise in this election. Based on recent polls, Clinton is now ahead in many other close states, including Arizona, Florida, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire and North Carolina.
What Donald Trump does not understand is that America will go on without him, whether or not he concedes the election. Meanwhile, let's work like the Texans that we are to turn Texas blue. Now that this is a possibility, please help in one or more of the following ways::