Tonight’s Debate Draws Parallels to 1960
Tonight, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will face off in this election season's first Presidential debate.
This year's election is projected to be very tight and opinions are strong across the nation. Though there are strong supporters or both Clinton and Trump, it seems as though more people are voting against a particular candidate rather than for one.
The date of tonight's debate is historically significant as it was on this day in 1960 that the Presidential debate was televised for the first time in our nation's history. John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon participated in the debate and according to a NY Times article written at the time, both candidates were more concerned about their image rather than their policy ideas.
Tonight's debate is expected to draw viewership numbers of 100 million, which is a 'Super Bowl' caliber number. The Super Bowl this past February drew in over 111 million viewers.
The 1960 debate was also projected to have about 100 million viewers. The NY Times said after the fact that the audience was actually about 75 million.
Opinions of the 1960 candidates are also very similar to that of today. At the time, the NY Times went around the New York area to see how people felt about the candidates.
One citizen at a bar told the Times, "So far, neither of these guys has said anything."
Another individual, Virginia Lichtner, accused Nixon of wanting more education but not explaining how he was going to achieve that goal.
However, the NY Times at the time reported that most people had a similar sentiment summed up by New York resident Patrick Lally who said, "I don't think these debates will change anyone's mind who has already decided on the candidates. It's more for people who haven't made up their minds."
Of course other viewers were upset that the debates forced a repeat episode of 'Adventures in Paradise' to be put on the back burner.
As for this year's election, it seems North Dakotans have their minds made up. According to 'The Upshot,' which is the political arm of the NY Times, Donald Trump has a 99 percent chance of winning North Dakota's three electoral votes. A democrat has not won North Dakota since 1964.
Tonight's debate begins at 8pm and can be seen on all your local news stations, all the cable news channels, and will be streamed online as well.