Doug Schoen: First Presidential Debate — Here’s who won on style and substance

The first presidential debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden has concluded. Following the night, the biggest takeaway is that there were no surprises, and nothing happened that will change any attitudes, cause either candidate to gain or lose any votes, or move any undecided voters one way or the other.

Indeed, while the debate was contentious, and at times became personal, it lacked any real substance that could change attitudes in any meaningful way.

Given the level of back-and-forth between the candidates, the substance of the candidates’ answers was often lost and took a back seat to their style of argumentation and command of the room.

Though, in terms of style, in my view, President Trump was the clear winner—Trump was in command of the conversation, in control of the discussion, and if not presidential, certainly more in command.


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