Valley political analyst expects little change in final Trump, Biden debate
PHOENIX – A Valley political analyst believes the second and final presidential debate Thursday in Nashville between Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden will be slightly different from the first showdown.
Phoenix-based Copper State Consulting political expert Emily Ryan expects the debate to have a different feel after the debate commission implemented changes, including muting the candidate’s microphones cut off while their rival delivers their opening two-minute answer to each of the debate topics.
“If Joe Biden goes down a rabbit trail of information that he doesn’t want to share or gets himself confused, having that muted microphone might actually provide for more opportunities for stumbles on Joe Biden’s part,” Ryan told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Wednesday.
“On the other hand, Trump’s entire debate style is based on interrupting and creating chaos and if he can’t do that, he’s going to be off his game a little bit.”
Aside from that, it will likely be much more of the same.
“I think both candidates will continue to refuse to give direct answers to simple questions that they don’t want to talk about and I think you’ll see a lot answering questions with an attack on the other candidate,” Ryan said.
She expects Trump to lash out on Hunter Biden. The president has been promoting an unconfirmed New York Post report published last week that cites an email in which an official from Ukrainian gas company Burisma thanked Hunter Biden, who served on the company’s board, for arranging for him to meet Joe Biden during a 2015 visit to Washington.
The Biden campaign has rejected Trump’s assertion of wrongdoing and noted that Biden’s schedule did not show a meeting with the Burisma official.
For the Democratic candidate, she expects Biden to capitalize on Trump’s mishandling of COVID, tax records and new reports of the president’s business dealings in China.
According to a report Tuesday by The New York Times, China is one of only three foreign nations — the others are Britain and Ireland — where Trump maintains a bank account.
The foreign accounts do not show up on Trump’s public financial disclosures, where he must list personal assets, because they are held under corporate names. The Chinese account is controlled by Trump International Hotels Management LLC, which the tax records show paid $188,561 in taxes in China while pursuing licensing deals there from 2013 to 2015.
At this point in the election, Ryan said most voters likely have decided on who they’re voting for.
“I think most voters are hoping for some substantive answers on the economy, COVID, foreign police and a host of topics that are important to this country, but I think voters know that they’re not going to get it,” Ryan said.
“They’ve seen how this campaign has gone and I don’t really think it matters because most people have made up their minds, if not already cast their vote.”
KTAR News 92.3 FM will broadcast the debate live followed by analysis of what transpired starting at 6 p.m. Thursday.
The Associated Press and KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Jim Cross contributed to this report.