(CBS4) – The final presidential debate that was held Thursday night was far less combative and more substantive. CBS4 Political Specialist Shaun Boyd sat down with analysts Democrat Mike Dino and Republican Dick Wadhams to discuss if it made any impact on undecided voters.
“First of all, I wish the Donald Trump of last night had shown up at the first debate,” Wadhams said, “his demeanor was much better. It made him a better debater.”
“I don’t think it was a clear victory for Trump. I think it was a narrow victory but I do think there were a couple of important issues that came out of the debate that will help Trump in some states he needs to wins this election, (one) being fracking,” Wadhams said. “I think the vice president handled it very poorly and that’s going to move numbers in Pennsylvania and Ohio, and frankly, here in Colorado where are there are 200,000 people who make their living in the oil and gas industry.”
Dino agreed with Wadhams about the candidates focusing on the eight to 12 swing states, with Florida really being key.
“I think Biden’s message of unity, which resonates well with suburban women, came through,” Dino said, “wanting to be the American president, judging this election on character.”
“Certainly where he touched on the coronavirus and the blame he’s placed on the president works well for those over 65 who have moved away from the president.”
“In the swing states, each candidate probably scored some good points. That’s really where it counts because the race has been over in Colorado for some time now on the presidential level,” Dino said.
Boyd pointed out it’s hard to imagine what undecided voters are waiting to hear at this point in time. She did point out Biden said he was not ruling out banning fracking, she wanted to know if Dino thought that hurt him significantly.
“Not significantly,” Dino responded. “It’s not an issue that’s high on people’s agenda. I mean the virus, the economy are the top ones. Certainly there are younger voters who have mixed feelings about the oil and gas industry, sometimes leaning more to renewable energy and worried about climate change. I think he may have scored some points with some of the younger voters that will put him over the top in some of these states.”
Boyd asked Wadhams to address how the president handled questions about the coronavirus, saying he downplayed it in the debate.
“Trump continues to struggle with the coronavirus issue,” Wadhams said. “I think he’s done a much better job than he’s given credit for. One place on corona I do think he scored some points: Biden has essentially acknowledged he would shut the economy down again.”
“I think there are a lot of people who are getting very nervous about how New York, California and other states continue to just lock things down. That’s having societal impacts like suicide and other things. I think that is kind of a secret issue or low-key issue that might play itself out more than we think.”
Dick Wadhams is Republican political consultant who has worked with former Colorado Senator Wayne Allard and former Colorado Governor Bill Owens. He also worked on John Thune’s upset victor over then United States Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle in South Dakota. Wadhams was elected as the Chair of the Colorado Republican Party in 2007 and 2009.
Mike Dino is a Democratic government affairs expert with more than 30 years of experience. He was the CEO of the 2008 Democratic National Convention Host Committee where President Obama received his historic nomination. Dino also served as the executive director of Denver’s Task Force for the 1997 Summit of the Eight.