More than two dozen undecided Pennsylvania voters began watching the first debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Monday feeling deeply dissatisfied with their choice, describing Trump as “scary” and an “egomaniac” and Clinton as “corrupt” and “disingenuous.”
After 90 minutes, the participants were not necessarily won over by the candidates. But they overwhelmingly believed Clinton had seized the moment, coming off as “firm” and “knowledgeable,” the more presidential of the two. Trump, they said, was “defensive” and “bombastic,” leaving “unanswered questions” while dilly-dallying on difficult topics.
“He went off message,” said one man.
A woman echoed, “I was really hoping to see a different Donald Trump tonight.”
Asked whether the outcome was more reflective of Clinton’s success or Trump’s failure, the participants agreed Trump had fallen short. “He took the bait,” said one woman, while others suggested he was ill prepared for the matchup.