Opinion: Hillary Clinton v Donald Trump - third debate ratings

Clinton vs Trump (Newshub.)
Clinton vs Trump (Newshub.)

By Tony Wright

As expected, the third debate traversed much of the same ground as the first two, but Hillary Clinton appeared more coherent than in the second - while Donald Trump was far more chaotic.

I've picked three key topics from the debate in Las Vegas, and will rate each presidential candidate out of ten.

The right to bear arms is an emotive and divisive topic in the US. The National Rifle Association (NRA) backs Trump to the hilt; he is 'their' man.  Many people in the US have a gun, so will they give their vote to Trump?

Clinton 5/10

The second amendment is a difficult one for Clinton. On one hand she must appease the NRA up to a point, while speaking common sense about the damage millions of guns do to US society.

She spoke in cold, hard facts: "33,000 people a year die from guns. I think we need comprehensive background checks. We need to close the online loophole, close the gun show loophole."

Interesting to note that she began by saying: "First off, I support the Second Amendment."

A tough sell.

Trump 5/10

Trump used Chicago as an example. He claimed Chicago has the toughest gun laws in the US, but: "Had by far more gun violence than any other city.  So we have the toughest laws and you have tremendous gun violence."

Trump used the opportunity to suck up to the NRA. He said he was very proud to have their endorsement.

It's obvious a lot of rifle owners will vote for Trump come November 8, but will it be enough?

Chris Wallace asked this question: "Do you want the US Supreme Court to overturn Roe v Wade, which includes - in fact states - a women's right to abortion?

Trump 3/10

Trump said he is pro-life and would appoint pro-life judges to the court.

Then, he made a howler.  Trump appeared to confuse late term abortion with a C-section.  He said: "In the ninth month you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby."

He was doing an alright job pandering to the pro-life lobby up until this point.

Clinton 8/10

Clinton said she strongly supported the: "Constitutional right for a woman to make the most intimate, most difficult decision about her health care one can imagine."

She said she would defend Planned Parenthood, defend Roe v Wade, and defend women's rights to make their own health care decisions.

Enough said.

Moderator Chris Wallace asked both candidates the same question: "Will you put US troops into Iraq to make sure Islamic State (IS) doesn't come back or isn't replaced by something even worse?"

Clinton 6/10

Hillary Clinton said she will not put US troops into Iraq as an occupying force. She said she would continue to fund Iraqi military forces as they fight to take the city of Mosul.

Clinton said she would push for an intelligence surge that would protect US citizens at home from IS, and a no-fly zone over Syria

She spoke a lot of sense, and as a former US Secretary of State, Clinton was able to dominate Trump on this subject.

Trump 3/10

Trump was a bit of disaster here.

He certainly called the situation in Aleppo a disaster. He even went a bit further, claiming the key Syrian city had fallen to government forces, but in truth rebel factions still control most it.

He all but ignored Chris Wallace's question, claiming IS existed purely because Clinton had created a vacuum for it to do so.

At one point, Trump even admitted that Clinton had more experience than him (with foreign policy) but that it was "bad experience".

Trump has always struggled when debating foreign policy with Clinton, and today was no exception.

His latest line was this: "Iran is taking over Iraq, something they've always wanted to do forever, but we've made it easy for them."

The debate threatened to get nasty at times as Trump sought to undermine Clinton at every turn. He even interrupted her near the end saying: "Such a nasty woman."

Clinton to her credit stayed calm and focused, and that really sums up all three debates.

Trump, ever the attack dog, dodged the big questions and called Clinton a criminal and several other things.

Trump's down in the latest polls and will likely lose this election.

He'll just say it was rigged all along.