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How Central Illinois viewed the presidential debate

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PEORIA (WEEK) - The first Presidential debate of the campaign season is over.

But did it help anyone decide on a candidate?

As soon as the debate began, viewers took to social media offering a play-by-play of their thoughts.

Memes flowed, tweets sent, and Facebook friends arguing in the comment section.

"I thought it looked like a brawl. They put their boxing gloves on," said East Peoria resident Marjorie Johnson.

"In retrospect of partisanship are really disappointed in the what happened last night. It was bad. It was bad for democracy. It was bad for the public. It was bad for information," said Maghan Leonard, an American Politics professor at Illinois State University.

The bickering between two candidates on stage has lots of people talking.

It's what both political scientists expected.

"I'm surprised people were surprised. This was Donald Trump being Donald Trump. Did he turn it up to 11? Sure. He was out of control last night. I don't think Joe Biden had a good performance. I didn't expect Joe Biden a great performance. He's not a great debater. I think he'll do better in the next one which is a townhall format," said Megan Remmel, Political Science Professor at Bradley University.

Both say, if you were still on the fence with a decision the first Presidential debate probably didn't help.

"200,000 people have died from the coronavirus. The tax returns over the weekend. The supreme court nomination. These are all incredibly huge deals and they have very little discussion," said Remmel.

Moderator Chris Wallace saw his share of critique too.

"I think he should have followed up a little bit further with some questions when Biden didn't give clear answers on some questions," said Johnson.

"At some point right, he's speaking to the President of the United States so he wants to show the appropriate respect to him. But again, it's the President of the United States not following the rules"

The next debate is townhall style, voters asking questions they feel are most important.

Alex Menke

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