Speaking to the issues

Clinton and Trump spar over policy in the third presidential debate

21 Oct 2016

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton met in their third and final presidential debate on October 19, clashing on policy issues and appealing to voters ahead of the November 8 elections.

Both candidates performed relatively well throughout the debate and engaged in more substantive policy back-and-forth in the first half of the debate, according to John Savercool, Head of UBS’s U.S. Office of Public Policy. However, as in the other debates, both appealed to their base voters, and likely didn't attract many new voters based on their performance.

"We don't think (the third debate) moves the needle much in shaping the election outcome," Savercool said.

Most polls show that the higher level of undecided voters have begun to make up their minds over the last two weeks, mostly in Clinton's favor. Trump would have needed a very big win to turn the race around, but that decisive victory eluded him.

 

Key takeaways

  • Both candidates performed relatively well, and engaged in more substantive policy discussions during the first half of the debate.
  • Trump did well on immigration and the Supreme Court, while Clinton scored on women’s issues and the need for the loser in the race to acknowledge the will of the voters.
  • Trump needed a big win to attract undecided voters and turn the race around, but did not succeed in this debate. Clinton remains in the driver’s seat to win.
  • Both candidates appealed to their voter base, but likely did not attract many new voters, so the evening is not expected to dramatically move the needle in shaping the outcome.
  • How might the election impact your financial life? Talk with your UBS Financial Advisor.

"She remains in the driver's seat to win this election," said Savercool.

Trump did well in the areas of immigration and the Supreme Court, while Clinton scored on women's issues and the need for the loser to acknowledge the will of the voters, he added. Clinton also deftly sidestepped questions on Bill Clinton's past, and potential pay-to-play conflicts involving the Clinton Foundation.

The third debate was also probably the best from the standpoint of learning more about the candidates' positions on issues. Both candidates had claims or statements that lacked credibility, said Savercool, such as Trump and the rewriting of the North American Free Trade Agreement, and Clinton's claims that her spending plans will not add to the federal debt.


"We thought the moderator did the best job of the three debates in keeping order, and keeping the candidates as focused on the questions as much as can be expected," Savercool said.

How might the election impact your financial life? Together we can find an answer. Connect with your UBS Financial Advisor or find one.