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Hillary draws first blood in presidential debate

Last updated on: September 27, 2016 18:49 IST

The Democratic nominee emerged as the clear winner with nearly 62 per cent voters opting for her over her rival Donald Trump.

IMAGE: Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton reacts after the Presidential Debate with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at Hofstra University on September 26, 2016 in Hempstead, New York. Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Hillary Clinton emerged as the clear winner in the first United States presidential debate on Tuesday with nearly 62 per cent of voters giving an edge to the Democratic candidate over her Republican rival Donald Trump, who was deemed winner by only 27 per cent, according to a new poll of voters who watched the debate.

Clinton, 68, expressed her views more clearly than 70-year-old Trump, and had a better understanding of the issues by a margin of more than 2-to-1, the CNN/ORC poll said after the fiery debate between the two contenders to the White House, which was marked by personal attacks on both sides.

The polls released last weekend had predicted a neck-to-neck fight between the former secretary of state and Trump, with the later making a spectacular comeback in September after trailing by more than eight points to Clinton in August.

Clinton, who was repeatedly questioned by Trump over her “stamina” and her recent bout of pneumonia during the 90-minute clash, seemed to recover the lost ground with 56 per cent people terming her stronger leader, as opposed to 39 per cent who still reposed their faith in Trump’s leadership.

Clinton was also seen as having done a better job addressing concerns voters might have about her potential presidency by a 57 per cent to 35 per cent margin. The gap was smaller on which candidate appeared more sincere and authentic, though still broke in Clinton’s favour, with 53 per cent saying she was more sincere and 40 per cent on Trump’s side.

Almost 50 per cent said the debate did not make any impact on their voting plans, but those who said they were moved by it tilted in Clinton’s favour, 34 per cent said the debate made them more apt to vote for Clinton as opposed to the 18 per cent who backed Trump.

On foreign policy, 62 per cent thought that Clinton will do a better job while 35 per cent favoured Trump. 

Clinton also outperformed Trump, 54 per cent to 43 per cent, on the question of dealing with terrorism.

On the economy front, the split is much closer, with 51 per cent saying they favoured Clinton’s approach vs 47 per cent who preferred real-estate tycoon and billionaire Trump, who was grilled by Clinton for not releasing his tax returns and for threatening to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement if he was elected.

Clinton’s better performance in the debate also boosted some of the higher-risk currencies with the Mexican peso, Canadian dollar and Australian dollar all surging.

Clinton has also improved her chances of winning the November 8 election in the online betting market. 

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