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The Final Presidential Debate: Examined. Updated: 2020-10-23 15:06:20 KST

U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden concluded final presidential debate with contrasting views, as they looked to persuade the few remaining undecided voters 12 days before the November 3rd election.

"Success is going to bring us together. We are on the road to success but I'm cutting taxes and he wants to raise everybody's taxes and he wants to put new regulations on everything, he will kill it, if he gets in you will have a depression the likes of which you've never seen, your 401Ks will go to hell, and it will be a very, very sad day for this country."

"And I'm gonna say, as I said at the beginning, what is on the ballot here is the character of this country - decency, honor, respect, treating people with dignity, making sure that everyone has an even chance, and I'm going to make sure you get that, you haven't been getting that the last four years."

Trump has trailed Biden in opinion polls for months, though the contest is tighter in some battleground states likely to decide the election.

The final TV debate for the 2020 U.S. presidential election, thereafter.
Let's talk about it.

Joining us live in the studio is Mason Richey, Associate Professor of International Politics at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies.

Mason, great to see you again.

So, it looks like the mute button, or at least the threat of it, seemed to work.
The two candidates were visibly more restrained allowing each other to speak using respectful tones.
Surprisingly, even when they went on the attack, they did so in a calm, deliberate manner.
First of all, what are your key takeaways from this second and final debate?

The president visibly dialed down the volume this time which, in my view, made him a much more effective debater. Joe Biden largely held up under fire, avoiding the kind of gaffes and stumbles that ould have played into Republican attempts to question his age and mental acuity.
Let's first talk about what these two candidates did well in the debate. How did they appeal to the voters?

What about the downsides? Are there any shortfalls or mistakes that each of the candidates made?

The civility of the debate helped viewers fous more on each candidate's policy direction.
Let's try going over them one by one.
On Covid, Trump continued to downplay the severity of the virus and defend his early reaction restricting travel from China and promising, despite the facts, that a vaccine will be ready shortly. Biden, pointed to the death toll from the virus, repeatedly held up a mask and said he'd push common-sense advice to states to encourage mask-wearing, and social distancing.
What were your thoughts on their Covid policy? Could Mr. Trump have won over the hearts of undecided voters or even keep those Trump supporters in place?

On immigration
Somehow Trump was accusing Biden of inhumanity on immigration, arguing that the Obama administration began the policy of family separation. There's a kernel of truth there.
But, help us examine this case.

Mr. Trump attacked Mr. Biden's son and accused the former vice president of making money from China and other countries.
Let's fact check. Are Trump's accusations true? Partly true?

For those in South Korea, key focus was probably on Trump and Biden's foreign policy directions.
Donald Trump, as we know, has time and time again praised his relationship with North Korea's Kim Jong-un. Biden during the debate said he'd never meet with a "thug" like Kim without a he'd abandon nuclear ambitions.
What is your forecast of North Korea, U.S. relations under either Trump 2 or Biden?

In the end, the raucous first debate probably will be what the history books remember.
But, this second and final debate: is there a chance that their performance last night would impact American voters? Or is a lasting impact on the race slim?

Less than two weeks left until election day, how do you think things will play out come Election Day?

Mason Richey, Associate Professor of International Politics at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, many thanks for your insights this evening. We appreciate it.
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