Experts estimated that the first debate of the 2016 Presidential Race would have about 80 million to 100 million people tuning in. Ahead of the Monday night debate, candidates polled nearly neck and neck.
In McLennan County, area Republicans and Democrats held separate watch parties for the debate.
Don Klontz attended the watch party at McLennan County Republican headquarters. Prior to the debate, he was looking forward to seeing how the candidates would act in a less controlled environment.
"'I'm looking to see whether my candidate or either candidate looks presidential. If I can envision them in the Oval office, If they can respond without talking points that are prepared in advance," Klontz said.
Across both aisles, voters expressed an interest in hearing the specifics from candidates on major issues. In the weeks leading up to the debate, Lucyann Miramontez said national attention on race has made it one of the issues she wants the candidates to cover.
Monday night, both candidates were asked to explain their strategy for race relations. Miramontez said she was not fully satisfied with Trump's answers.
"Hilary had the better answer. I wasn't too thrilled with Trump's [stop and] frisk answer. I think that it does open it up to profiling," she explained.
At both parties, viewers felt that both candidates had a solid but not strong performance. Miramontez thought Clinton was the clear winner.
"You can definitely tell that Hillary is more prepared for the debate. I feel like Trump has been kinda going in circles a few times here and there. He doesn't seem as informed as Hillary does," she said.
Klontz, on the other hand, felt Trump had a good open but overall wasn't nearly as strong as he could have been
"Trump really missed a chance to talk about security and Clinton's email when talking about cyber security." Despite the first showing, Klontz is looking forward to the next debate. He is hoping that fellow voters will get into the conversation.
"I wish everybody could get involved in the process and get educated on the issues and participate. Because few people are making the decisions for most of the people and I wish everyone would." Klontz said.
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