Elections

‘I’m dissatisfied by both candidates’: Idaho reacts to 1st presidential debate

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton gestures as she appears on stage with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump during the presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., Monday.
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton gestures as she appears on stage with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump during the presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., Monday. AP

9:06 p.m.: A last couple of thoughts from some of the folks we talked to tonight:

There was no consensus on a winner at all tonight at the Minerts house in Kuna. Or a loser. Though it was definitely more of an anti-Clinton audience, there was great ambivalence over Trump’s performance.

“I’m dissatisfied by both candidates and tonight, I’m still dissatisfied by both candidates,” said Val Batteen.

Justin Vaughn, assistant professor of political science at Boise State and a member of tonight’s featured panel there, echoed that thought.

“I don’t think there was a winner tonight,” he said. “Clinton was more substantive than Trump but she took potshots, too. Trump was like you would expect. There were no good guys.”

8:39 p.m.: That’s it, folks! Thanks for stopping by. Watch IdahoStatesman.com for further debate coverage and followup, or pick up Tuesday’s print copy of the Statesman.

8:34 p.m.: Clinton’s response to Trump’s comments on her stamina gets a big ovation at Boise State.

8:27 p.m.: With the debate winding down in Kuna, we asked host Dave Minert to put the evening in perspective.

“To me this will demonstrate which direction our country’s going to go,” Minert said. “Is it going to go in the direction that President Obama has taken the last 8 years, which I believe has been misdirection? Or is it going to be a new direction? While I guess I don’t undertstand exactly where Trump will take it, I’m confident that he has the right instincts and his people will lead us in the right direction.”

8:23 p.m.: Trump’s arguments on whether he did or didn’t support invading Iraq in 2002 get more laughs at Boise State. Talking about his “temperament” earns the biggest laugh of the night.

8:12 p.m.: Earlier tonight, BSU student Remy Krey-Rebentisch of Napa, Calif., said she thinks the whole thing is a joke. “Everybody’s laughing. I have no idea which way it will go.”

“It’s like two children fighting. It’s really bad,” said Mike Roybal of Idaho Falls, a social science and criminal justice major. “There’s no clear winner. I’m undecided in this. There’s no good candidate from any party. It’s almost like a nightmare.”

7:52 p.m.: Three members of CWI’s speech and debate team say Hillary Clinton has more command of information. Trump isn’t showing depth. Trump was wrong that the nation’s auto industry is ailing, said Chris Tucci. Aleli Snivley said she has a hard time listening to Clinton. No one is ahead, she said.

7:50 p.m.: A quick debate half-time check-in at the Minerts in Kuna: Who’s winning the debate? Interestingly, this mostly anti-Clinton crowd doesn’t necessarily think Trump is winning. She’s getting under his skin, one says. Neither is winning, says another. But one thinks Trump’s winning because Clinton is having to play his game.

7:49 p.m.: Ryan Eisenbach is a Boise State MBA candidate from Seattle. He said he expects the media to frame Trump the winner tonight no matter how he does. Then if the market drops Tuesday, they will say it happened because of Trump. They will use that as proof that Trump is bad for the economy. “The media is strategic.”

7:47 p.m.: At CWI, debate student Aleli Snivley says Trump scored on his releasing emails-for-tax-return proposal. “He voices what he feels.”

7:44 p.m.: Lester Holt: “We’re well behind schedule.”

7:43 p.m.: Clinton’s comments on Trump not paying taxes also got applause at BSU. Trump’s financial explanation got laughs.

7:38 p.m.: The folks at the Minerts don’t exactly like Donald Trump, but they don’t like Hillary Clinton more. He’s getting all the applause here, and she’s getting all the stress balls. When the topic of Trump’s tax returns came up, we took a poll: Should he release his taxes? All but one said yes.

7:35 p.m.: Students at Boise State are happily laughing at the one liners. Lots of clapping when Trump offered to release his tax return if Clinton gave up emails deleted from her private server used when she was secretary of state.

7:28 p.m.: Still need a debate bingo card? Our friends at the Kansas City Star have you taken care of.

7:15 p.m.: Dave and Fay Minert of Kuna opened their home to friends to watch the first Clinton-Trump debate, and they sure know how to debate-party. Everything is red white and blue, even the Rice Krispies treats. There is debate bingo, gag gifts, stress balls to toss at the TV, and yes, they started flying early on. Clinton is getting the most of them.

7:05 p.m.: The debate has started! Watch live:

6:40 p.m.: Boise State computer science major Prince Kannah of Boise immigrated from Liberia with his parents 16 years ago. A senior, he has applied for citizenship but doubts it will happen before the election.

“I’m watching the debate and the election as a spectator sport,” Kannah said. “I’m fascinated with Trump. I want to see just how far he can go, like when will this train stop.

“If I was to vote I’d vote for Clinton on principle. A lot of Trump’s ideas go against what the United States is all about. I just don’t think his policies are viable.”

6:34 p.m.: Are you already dialed into CNN? Just want the highlights later? We’re here for you, Idaho.

As Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton meet at 7 p.m. Mountain on Monday in New York, we’re gathering the reaction in the Mountain time zone. Watch this page for live updates from social media and from three debate watch parties in particular:

▪  The Statesman’s Bill Dentzer will join seven couples at a debate watch dinner party at a private home in Kuna. The attendees plan to play “debate bingo,” exchange gag gifts, and throw stress balls at the TV when candidates respond with answers they don’t like.

▪  Six students from the College of Western Idaho’s nationally award-winning speech and debate team will assess the candidates on their debate performance. Did they stick to topics? Was it really a debate? Who came out on top? Reporter Bill Roberts will share their reactions and their final thoughts following the debate.

▪  And, Rocky Barker will be at Boise State University, where a panel of faculty experts in political science and history will lead a discussion before and after the debate. They’ve invited students and community members of all political preferences to discuss what was said, what it means, and why it matters.

OK, but where can I watch the debate in the first place?

There are a number of public and private watch parties across the Treasure Valley — if you already identify with a candidate, you may want to head to Dave and Buster’s in Boise (where the Republicans are set up) or Powderhaus Brewing in Garden City (the Democrats’ headquarters for the evening).

For those at home, the debate will be on all the usual major broadcast and cable news networks. Or, you can stream it live: here’s some advice on where to do that.

When Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump take the stage in New York, they may be the only ones fact checking each other. After an incident involving CNN’s Candy Crowley in the 2012 election, journalists who act as debate moderators may be much slower

What to read before it begins

As many as one-fourth of the projected 100 million people who will watch the debate tonight might decide their votes based on what they see.

NBC’s Lester Holt will be moderating his first general-election debate, and he’ll be under scrutiny.

Where do the candidates stand? Find out how their take on the issues compares to yours.

The New York Times will point 18 fact-checkers at the debate.

And hey, look! The Washington Post simulated the debate for you.

We want to hear from you, too

What network are you watching on? Who are you pulling for? What do you want to hear from the candidates?

Weigh in below in the comments, or tell us on Twitter.

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