COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - After tuning into Tuesday night’s debate, many South Carolinians quickly tuned out. Voters across the political spectrum described the debate with the same two words, “dumpster fire.”
In more than a dozen interviews with Columbia-area voters, people with a variety of political beliefs said the debate was hard to watch.
“We have nearly 340 million people in this country and this is the best we could get, it’s a little disheartening,” said Aaron Lawson, who isn’t sure if he is voting in the Presidential election, but plans to vote in local races come November.
Lawson said he wasn’t expecting to make any decisions about his vote by watching the first debate but he checked it out to stay informed.
“I think both the candidates were weak last night,” he said.
President Trump supporter Julie Haltiwanger gave the Commander-in-Chief slightly higher marks, but still was disappointed by the night.
“He did okay,” she said of the President. “It was tough to watch, I feel like the moderator didn’t do a good job at keeping people in line, and I didn’t learn a whole lot,” Haltiwanger added.
Supporters of Joe Biden felt the President didn’t give the former Vice President a chance to share his message, which left them frustrated with the whole debate.
“I wanted to get some key points about what Biden is talking about doing if he becomes the President, but I couldn’t hear anything,” Marsha Hutcherson said.
Hutcherson said she turned off the debate before it ended because of all the chaos.
“After a while it just got to be too much for me. I don’t do fights and it was too much. I can’t deal with it,” she added.
However, while the debate was frustrating for most viewers, no voter suggested they would stay home because of it. According to a Quinnipiac University poll conducted before the debate, as it stands 48 percent of South Carolinians support President Trump and 47 percent support Joe Biden, which is tighter than it was two weeks prior when the President was leading by six points in South Carolina.
However, pollsters with Quinnipiac said this isn’t a statistically significant difference. In the race for the Senate, Sen. Lindsey Graham and Jaime Harrison are still tied at 48 percent. Voters said the debate didn’t change their mind on who they were supporting for the Senate, but some voters said they are still undecided on which candidate will have their vote.
Some undecided voters said they don’t like Graham because he now supports the President after attacking him in 2016, but they agree with many of his views. Others said they were still researching both senatorial candidates and would make their decision based on each person’s healthcare and social security policies, potentially waiting until Election Day to make their decision.
For the moment, undecided voters are like every other voter, frustrated and confused with a fight billed as a debate.