The second presidential debate between Democratic candidate Joe Biden and Republican candidate President Donald Trump that was scheduled for Oct. 15 has been canceled. Both parties have been competing while trying to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sacred Heart students shared their opinions on the upcoming election.
“I really am not completely sure how I feel about this election,” said junior Owen Ginley. “In my short life, I’ve only seen a few elections, and this election is by far the most divided I’ve ever seen in this country.”
“When I first heard that the second presidential debate was cancelled, I was disappointed,” said senior Kolby Driscoll, President of the College Democrats. “Election season is one of my favorite times of the year, and I was genuinely looking forward to getting the full presidential election experience.”
Due to Trump contracting COVID-19, the debate was cancelled. According to the Associated Press from AP Newsroom, “The decision was made a day after the commission announced the debate would take place virtually because Trump had contracted the coronavirus.”
The decision to make the debate virtual heightened reactions. “I think a virtual debate is unfair on both sides,” said junior Chris Siclari.
Despite uncertainty about his health, Trump and his administrative team refused to participate in a virtual debate.
“A virtual debate would not have served the voters, as it would have seemed superficial and less than personal,” said Dr. Gary Rose, Chair of the Department of Government. “Debates often provide a window to a candidate’s style, delivery, and poise, which of course are important attributes for voters to consider. A virtual debate would not have provided these opportunities to voters.”
Some Sacred Heart students thought differently.
“I think that a virtual debate could definitely be beneficial as a last resort,” said Ginley.
Due to the format change of the second debate, the Oct. 15 face-off did not take place.
“I can understand President Trump’s position because his strength has always been appearing in person before audiences and commanding a crowd,” said Rose.
“Typical in accordance with his track record and history, President Trump was told something he did not necessarily want to hear, so he reacted in an impulsive and unprofessional fashion,” said Driscoll. “When Trump contracted COVID, it was announced that the debate had to be cancelled, but then announced that the debate would take place on Zoom. I do not know why President Trump feels the way that he does about debating over Zoom, however, I view it as very unprofessional that he was unwilling to participate.”
Instead of having a virtual debate, the candidates participated in two separate town halls on different television networks. Biden’s town hall was aired on ABC, while Trump’s was on NBC.
As a result of the debate cancellation, there is much attention surrounding the third debate.
As reported by the Associated Press from AP Newsroom, “The Oct. 22 debate in Nashville, Tennessee, is scheduled to feature a format similar to the first.”
“I definitely think the outcome will be interesting and, in all honesty, I think no matter who wins, there will be a large number of people angry at the outcome,” said Ginley.
The United States 2020 presidential election is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 3.