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WEAU political analyst breaks down final presidential debate

Published: Oct. 23, 2020 at 7:01 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Thursday, President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden faced off for the second and final presidential debate of the 2020 campaign.

WEAU political analyst John Frank said both candidates achieved their goals.

"Both of them had a list of things that they needed to do and it appeared, for the most part, that they both of them accomplished what they wanted to accomplish,” he said.

Frank said both candidates got their respective messages across to their target audiences. Biden still has an advantage but the race is not over.

"There’s no doubt that Joe Biden has field position right now,” he said “Now, the question is, going into the last week, who’s going to get momentum?”

Frank also said momentum can come in two forms at this late stage of the race, from the debate or voter turnout.

"It’s all going to be about who gets their people to the polls to vote,” he said. “Because Joe Biden may be up by double digits nationwide, but as we all know, the presidential election is decided by the Electoral College and so we have to go state-by-state to see where each candidate is in each state.”

Though Biden’s ahead in recent national and statewide Wisconsin polls, Frank said he thinks Trump is in the same position as late in the 2016 race when he won Wisconsin and the presidency despite trailing in the polls to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“There are a bunch of states that are toss-ups that he has to win and there’s a bunch of states that are leaning toward Biden that he’s got to bring back over to his column," Frank said.

He also said while the second debate will create a lot of buzz, it’s not very important at this stage of a presidential campaign.

“I am not a big debate supporter,” Frank said. “I don’t think debates do much in terms of swaying people, particularly late in a race. Again, late in a race, it’s all about getting the turnout. You know, finding out who really is supporting you or leaning towards you and turning those people out."

He also said Thursday’s debate was far more civil than the first one.

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