Our Washington correspondent Stefan Grobe has answered some of our questions about where Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump now stand after the third and final presidential debate.
Many political observers said Donald Trump had to win the debates to claw back his deficit in the polls. Where does he stand now? Can he still turn this election around or is it all over for him?
“I think that both candidates delivered the best debate performance in this election campaign so far. The problem for Trump is it was not enough. Trump has to win over white college-educated women, a group that has been dramatically shifting in Clinton’s favour these last couple of months, basically because of Trump’s comments he made about women in general – and particular women. When he called Clinton a “nasty woman” last night that does not go down well with the mother in Philadelphia and the grandmother in Indianapolis. So is it all over for him? Probably, Yes.”
American media suggest that by refusing to say whether he’ll accept the election result, Trump is effectively committing “political suicide”? Is his position causing even his core support to desert him?
“That’s a good question. I don’t think his core supporters will desert him because they strongly believe in anything he says. He has been talking about a rigged political system since day one, even goading his followers into committing acts of violence. Look, his core supporters are white blue-collar males without college education who feel abandoned by America’s elite. But again, you cannot win the election with uneducated white guys alone. They will stick with him but everybody else seems to be running away from him.”
With the debates done and dusted, what will the candidates’ focus be in the remaining three weeks of the campaign?
“In that time period the candidates are focusing on mobilising their respective bases and turning out the vote. That’s where Hillary Clinton’s much superior ground operation comes into play. Take for instance Florida: Hillary Clinton has ten times more field offices than Donald Trump and they are in constant contact with the local population and I think eventually that will make all the difference.”