Elections

Trump and Clinton both claim debate victory using wildly different methods

Welcome to McClatchy’s Voter Survival Guide, an interactive presentation of daily events from one of the strangest presidential campaigns in modern history.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump declared victory after the first presidential debate, with Trump using internet polls while Clinton cited newspaper headlines.

CNN conducted the only scientific poll after the debate, and declared Clinton the winner. Its sample skewed Democratic and had a higher margin of error than usual.

A focus group in North Carolina went for Trump, while a group in Pennsylvania favored Clinton.

Gender mattered in last night’s debate. Trump interrupted Clinton 46 times and referred to Clinton as “Secretary Clinton” until the end of the night when he switched to “Hillary.” Clinton brought up comments Trump made about a former beauty contestant and Rosie O’Donnell.

Both candidates hit the trail on Tuesday. Trump went to Florida while Clinton campaigned in North Carolina.

The debate was the most-watched contest in presidential history, although early estimates say 80.9 million tuned in on television and digitally, far below the 100 million viewers some expected.

The polls open nationally in 40 days. Let’s get started.

So, who won?

It depends on who you ask. Trump and his surrogates praised a litany of unscientific polls as evidence that he won the debate, and the hashtag #TrumpWon was trending on Twitter on Tuesday. But the polls Trump cited are open to anyone with an internet connection.

There’s evidence that Trump supporters on internet forums tried to game the results, as users shared links to polls and directions on how to vote multiple times quickly.

Hillary Clinton cited newspapers in her debate triumph, and the only scientific poll released immediately after the debate indicated that Clinton won the debate. That poll, conducted by CNN, was heavily skewed with Democratic voters.

Yet focus groups of undecided voters yielded mixed results. Voters in North Carolina weren’t convinced by Clinton’s economic and national security policies. They are leaning toward Trump or Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.

Voters in Pennsylvania described Clinton as “firm” and “knowledgeable” after the debate while Trump was referred to as “corrupt” and “disingenuous.”

The politics of gender

Clinton went after Trump for his previous statements on a beauty contestant and Rosie O’Donnell, and she was interrupted 46 times by the Republican nominee.

“I think that was fair and warranted,” Trump adviser Sarah Huckabee Sanders said of Trump’s interruptions. “That’s not a problem for women at all. I think women care less about debate tactics than the economy, national security. They want to know, ‘Are my kids going to have a job? Are they going to be safe?’ That’s what women care about.”

The Clinton camp clearly had a plan to paint Trump as a misogynist, with the Democratic nominee bringing up Alicia Machado, a former Miss Universe who was publicly mocked by Trump for being too fat years ago.

“She gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem.” Trump said on Tuesday.

Both candidates hit battleground states

After spending the past few days preparing for the debate, Trump and Clinton were back on the trail Tuesday, with Trump visiting Florida and Clinton heading to North Carolina.

Trump visited Miami, finally returning to woo Hispanic voters after his initial trip months ago was canceled in the wake of the Dallas shooting.

He received a traditional Cuban gift upon his return.

Clinton campaigned in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she referred to Trump’s views on foreign policy as “dangerously incoherent.”

“He made very clear that he didn’t prepare for that debate,” Clinton said. “Just trying to keep track of everything he says took a lot of time.”

Links of note

What does Trump do for the next debate? (McClatchy)

Is NAFTA really the worst trade deal ever? (McClatchy)

Donald Trump’s unproductive Monday night (The Atlantic)

Holt’s assist to Hillary (National Review)

Have a question about the candidates, the campaign, the process, the election itself? Ask us here.

Alex Daugherty: 202-383-6049, @alextdaugherty

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