BOSTON (CBS) – In a way, Donald Trump had a good night Sunday night.
He was much more on his game than in the first debate, hitting on his litany of criticisms of Hillary Clinton and his favorite crowd-pleasing lines from all those rallies. And the crowd that has rallied around him were surely thrilled with his relentless finger-pointing indictments, mixed with the occasional attack on the moderators.
By contrast, Clinton – beyond a few sharp elbows thrown at Trump’s greatest misfires – was mostly playing rope-a-dope, letting him bluster and ignore the questions from citizens and moderators while she stuck to her script and the issues. After seeming a little rattled by the intensity of his attack early on, she stayed calm and was overall noticeably less aggressive than in the first debate.
So where does this leave the race?
For the historically large numbers of voters who are telling pollsters they can’t stand Trump, his performance likely reaffirmed their doubts. It’s risky to sneer, interrupt, point an accusing finger, and denigrate someone as consistently and rudely as Trump did.
For the almost-as-large number of voters who can’t stand Clinton, there also seemed to be little on display to change their minds. She was not successful in concealing her contempt for him and his tactics.
And what about the voters that really matter, the undecideds who will likely make the call next month?
Your guess is as good as mine, but mine is that they were unmoved. If they were turned off by the candidates or politics in general before Sunday night, they’re still that way today.
And I’m left with this overwhelming thought – this unpleasant, unedifying dumpster fire of a campaign can’t end soon enough.
Listen to Jon’s commentary: