KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The second presidential debate will give the Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton a unique opportunity to convince undecided voters that they are the better choice for Commander-in-Chief.
The face off at Washington University will be a town hall format, giving the floor to undecided voters. According to data compiled by RAND, about 11 percent of registered U.S. voters are still undecided just 30 days from Election Day.
“We’re not stupid. We’re not stupid Americans, so let’s get to the nuts and bolts about what really matters,” Susan Brown said.
In a close election year, Trump and Clinton are zeroing in on the undecided voter, and when the candidates take center stage Oct. 9, they will be trying to win over an electorate group that’s providing to be a tough sell.
“We want facts. We want the truth,” Tyler Miller said. “In a lot of these debates, they don’t really talk about anything.”
When asking undecided voters what they would like to hear from the candidates in the second debate, they offered a piece of advice.
“Don’t point fingers. What are you going to do from here forward? That’s what voters care about,” Arnold Pumphrey said.
Undecided voters said they want Trump and Clinton to focus on the issues and their vision for the country’s future. However, they do want to hear something specific from one of the candidates, an apology for lewd remarks the republican nominee made about women 11 years ago in an off-camera audio tape, something that could be hurting his chances of gaining the support of an important electorate group: college educated women like Susan Brown.
“At some point in a young man’s life, he might have gotten a little off-color with his conversations about women but then they learn from that, but at 59 years old, I would hope he would have learned from that beforehand,” she said.
Still, some undecided voters said Trump’s comments are not a deal breaker and were made long before he decided to run for public office.
“Granted that was in the past, so we should take it with a grain of salt but still, it has to factor in a little bit,” Miller said.
Voter said they have a better idea of what to expect from Clinton Oct. 9, pointing to a strong performance in the first debate.
As for Trump, undecided Americans said he needs to better articulate his plans and capitalize on him being a political outsider.
“How is he really going to address that he will get outside the Washington D.C. norm? That’s what I’m looking to hear,” Brown said.
But in the end, most undecided voters said it will likely be the day of the election when they finally choose their candidate.
“Probably that day with the pen in my hand,” Brown said with a laugh.