Central Texas voters have mixed reactions about presidential candidates ahead of debate

Posted at 7:22 PM, Sep 26, 2016
and last updated 2018-07-24 21:30:26-04

Texas voters have mixed opinions regarding the presidential candidate they will vote for in November, with the first presidential debate to take place on Monday night.

Democratic Candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican Candidate Donald Trump will participate in the debate, which is anticipated to have a television audience rivaling the Superbowl.

Charles Alford and Robert Acrey who eat breakfast together a few times a week at Harold Waite’s Pancake and Steakhouse talked to News Channel 25 about whether they planned on watching the debate and their candidate of choice.

Alford who plans to vote for Trump said he may watch the debate.

"Hillary no. That leaves Trump. I think maybe he may not accomplish everything he talks about but I think he has the idea,” Alford said.

Acrey doesn’t plan to watch Monday’s debate.

"I don't know what they say tonight how sincere they are or if they just want to say what the public wants to hear,” Acrey said.

Acrey, who has voted Republican in the past, said he plans to vote for the Democratic candidate this time.

"I don't like for Trump. I don't like Hillary,” Acrey said. “My thinking is that I'll vote for Hillary because the Republican Congress can control her. I don't think the Republican congress can control Trump. I don't think anybody can.”

Undecided voter James Conley plans to watch the presidential debates to help him make his voting decision before Election Day.

“I'm not crazy about either one of the candidates. I need to know more about them before I make an informed decision on who to vote for,” Conley said.

He added the Libertarian Party Candidate Gary Johnson should have been allowed to participate in the debate.

According to Baylor University Associate Professor for Political Science Dr. Patrick Flavin, in polls, there is a greater percentage of poll respondents said they are undecided voters or plan to vote for a third party candidate.

The percentage of undecided voters is between 10 to 15 percent, according to Flavin.

"Both candidates tonight are really speaking to that small sliver of the electorate who are undecided and will use this and the future debates and other information that comes after the debate to make their decision come Election Day,” Flavin said.

However, Flavin said the effects of the debates can’t be overstated.

“In Presidential Elections, the majority of voters have already made up their minds who they're going to vote for mainly based on their partisanship,” Flavin said.

The topics that will be discussed during the debate, include America’s Direction, Achieving Prosperity, and Securing America.

From the broad topics, Flavin anticipated voters may be more interested in the Securing America Portion.

“I think voters want to hear specifics from both candidates on what their plan is to both keep Americans Safe and also to address uncertainty and problems particularly the Middle East, particularly in Syria. How they'll plan to confront the problem of ISIS,” Flavin said.

The debate will start at 8 p.m. on Monday. 

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