Due to COVID-19, surveillance nights involved smaller crowds and virtual chats.
Many at San Jose State University (SJSU) gathered for an evening of presidential debate monitoring geared towards a pandemic. Nearly 90 people met virtually. The crowd was mainly made up of young voters and professors.
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The discussion that followed the debate revealed that some felt uncomfortable about either candidate.
“As someone who watched 9/11 unfold in real time, that’s about the level of anxiety I’m feeling right now, personally,” one participant explained.
SJSU’s virtual viewers were interviewed immediately afterwards. They were asked three questions:
- Who seemed best prepared for the debate?
- Which question discussed was the most informative or revealing for you?
- Who do you think won the presidential debate?
Most felt that former Vice President Joe Biden was the best prepared. The results also showed that among the group, the most informative or revealing issue was police and race relations.
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A student took to heart President Donald Trump‘s message to the far-right group, the Proud Boys.
During the debate, President Trump said, “Proud Boys, stand back and wait. But I’ll tell you, someone has to do something against antifa and the left, because it’s not a right-wing issue. -wing problem. “
One SJSU student said, “He said a quote, ‘Get ready and step back,’ and I think that’s really, really disturbing. And someone, you know, who can’t represent all the different people in our society shouldn’t be allowed to be President. “
However, at the San Francisco Young Republicans (SFYR) In-Person Watch Party, guests offered a different take.
SFYR President Adrienne Wincher told ABC7 News: “I really liked Trump’s response to the race.”
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The president’s approach lived up to what his supporters say they expect.
“As a supporter of him, I think I was looking to see not the president come out, but the guy who was the real estate developer and the Queens brawler,” said Trevor Goss, a San Francisco resident. “And that’s who we saw.”
Rather, those who participated in the discussion on SJSU felt, “It was rude to say the least, on all fronts. And it definitely rubs me when people treat others like Trump treated Biden.”
“It was almost like Trump was barking at Biden,” another explained. “There have been so many times the moderator has said, ‘Can you please let me speak. “”
Back in San Francisco, Liz Davis, a supporter of President Trump, told ABC7 News, “I think he should have let Biden speak a little more. I think we’re going to have a lot of hindsight from the Liberals on that shot. “
On Zoom, an SJSU student told the group: “The way Trump’s behavior has been throughout the debate was downright disgusting.”
“You’ve seen the behavior of a president, and it was courtesy of former Vice President Biden,” one participant explained. “When he looked straight into the camera he was talking to us.”
However, many others said they were still not convinced the 90-minute debate did much to win their vote.
“The way they spoke was so disappointing to watch,” an SJSU student told Zoom. “And I can’t believe these are my only realistic choices for voting.”
Tuesday’s debate is the first of three scheduled.
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