Politics & Government

Readers stick with Trump — and election’s integrity — after third debate

Readers scored another win for Donald Trump in this week’s third and final debate with Hillary Clinton, but they also disagreed with the GOP nominee on the state of American democracy.

Two-thirds of the 3,348 people who took the Buzz’s online Twitter poll declared Trump the winner of Wednesday’s contest, in line with our previous polls. Readers declared Trump the winner of both of his previous contests with Hillary Clinton as well, even as Trump began to slide in national polls. Only 29 percent thought Clinton did better in the debate.

But on Trump’s most controversial remark of the evening – suggesting he might not accept the outcome of the election if he loses – readers were less willing to follow along. 64 percent said they would accept the outcome of the election as the voters’ choice, whatever it may be. 15 percent backed the candidate’s claim that voting will be “rigged,” while 21 percent said their determination of the vote’s fairness “depends on who wins.”

The debates may not have had much of an effect on voters’ intentions. Asked if watching the three clashes between the candidates had changed their opinion of either candidate, 74 percent said “No.” 14 percent said the debates had shifted them toward one candidate and away from the other; 7 percent had a lower opinion of both candidates after watching the debates, and 4 percent said their thoughts on both candidates had improved.