President Trump and democratic rival Joe Biden competed for viewing figures last night as they both took part in question and answer style events on different channels.
Most notably during the night, Trump refused to admit any knowledge of the Q Anon conspiracy theories that have been circulated since before the 2016 election. These lead to the Pizzagate scandal where a man shot at a pizzeria in Washington, which was believed to be the home of a human trafficking and child sex ring.
Savannah Guthrie, who moderated the debate, questioned Trump over Q Anon’s labelling as a potential terrorist threat. He said: “I know nothing about it, I do know they are very much against paedophilia, they fight it very hard.”
Trump mostly chose to focus on attacking antifa, a strategy he also used in the first debate to deflect when he was asked to denounce white supremacy and the right-wing group Proud Boys.
The president also said that he would accept a peaceful transfer power but said: “I want it to be an honest election, and so does everybody else.”
Professor Royce Carrol, from the University of Essex, says that the fact the president had to state this, “reflects that the social founding’s for democracy are probably at the lowest they have been for many decades.”
He added: “No candidate has ever really envisioned before that they would survive an effort to gratuitously challenge an election.”
For Joe Biden however one of the key talking points was, as Carrol says, a potential “massive power move” being a motion to court pack following the election. This would see Biden change the number of justices in the supreme court which would completely change the ideological balance of the judiciary.
Democrats would likely try to justify this by pointing to the perceived unfairness of Amy Coney Barrett’s recent nomination or simply that if they win the election it would give them the mandate to do as they wish. Biden attempted to avoid any potential controversy by simply saying he is “not a fan” of court packing.
The next debate is set for October 22nd.