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Colorado Springs reacts to Tuesday night’s controversial presidential debate

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Two candidates yelling at, interrupting and insulting each other; lack of control by the moderator; and disgusted TV viewers were the hallmarks of Tuesday night's first presidential debate before the 2020 election.

Republican incumbent Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden didn't make a good impression among many voters, and Fox News moderator Chris Wallace struggled to maintain control.

Why was the debate such a mess, even for an event that often is lively and heated?

"(I think it was) all (three reasons) of the above!" said Josh Dunn, a political scientist professor at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. "Remember, because of the pandemic, there wasn't a studio audience for the candidates to play off of, and to pressure the candidates into acting more presidential."

Although even many loyal Trump supporters were disappointed by his performance, Dunn says the president may be getting support from a surprising source -- described in a new book as "Trump's Democrats."

"They're heavily driven by an honor culture, where it's considered appropriate -- even necessary -- to respond to insults or attacks directly, forcefully and quickly," he said.

Dunn gives Biden a slight victory over Trump in the debate.

"I think Trump seemed to have the advantage, the first 10 to 20 minutes of the debate," he said. "But then as it went on, it seemed to me, at least, that he was losing that advantage, that the interruptions were actually not helping him and actually becoming a bit tiresome. On a few occasions, the interruptions even bailed Biden out of some questionable comments."

Dunn said he doubts the debate will change how anyone plans to vote on Election Day.

"The president's strategy fits his personality, so I doubt he'll change it," he said. "I think it's a good strategy but it didn't work Tuesday."

Having more moderators also would change the tone of a debate, Dunn said.

"Having just one moderator, that's tough because it's hard to find one that both candidates agree on. But having more than one makes it easier to keep the discussion in control."

The next debate is Oct. 15, and the Commission on Presidential Debates announced Tuesday that it will change the format for the remaining debates.

"After what I saw Tuesday, I'm not voting for Trump," said local voter Akey Cook. "At least I watched it. A lot of people tuned out early or didn't watch at all."

Another voter, Deon Besder, said: "I'm behind Trump all the way, but the debate wasn't good. We need a better moderator, I think that was the problem."

Michael, another voter, wants to see improvement.

"I want more presidential behavior, answers to questions, less attacking and more information that will help us decide who we'll vote for," he said.

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Scott Harrison

Scott is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Scott here.



  1. I want to first clarify I want everyone of our votes to count, I do wish I could trust our government, but the factual evidence causes the reality of trusting our government when it comes to elections to be nefarious at best. If we as Americans are ok with the government of the USA to be known to have tampered with other countries elections, what makes you think they don’t / won’t do this in America.

    “One study indicated that the country intervening in most foreign elections is the United States with 81 interventions, followed by Russia (including the former Soviet Union) with 36 interventions from 1946 to 2000—an average of once in every nine competitive elections.” – Shulman, Stephen; Bloom, Stephen (2012). “The legitimacy of foreign intervention in elections: the Ukrainian response”. Review of International Studies. 38 (2): 445–471. doi:10.1017/S0260210512000022. Retrieved 12 January 2017.

    So in these 54 years, America interfered in 81 different elections in different countries.

    Based upon this track record, what would make me believe that any American election is not rigged to have the pre-selected personnel the lobbyists want in these positions. Follow the money you find who is in charge of our country. The Government is just a backdrop or splash-shield that protects the real people in charge of our country, the lobbyists and banks. One only has to be a student of history to see what is going on, this isn’t a different script than what has been done several times before.

    If there is no solid foundation, then why build a house on top of it. If our government has interfered 81 times in other countries, why would we believe that our own government didn’t also begin doing this during that same period here in America. Our Government would have to keep a solid foundation where there was a matching ideology that allowed this to persist and continue since as most recently as 2000 as the quote above indicates.

    Thus why both political parties have more in common with the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) than they do with real politicians.

    I am tired of voting to the lesser of 2 evils during a Presidential election, and this behavior only seems to be worsening with every election. If this is the best these two parties have to offer under this broken two-party system, then perhaps it is time a better party or parties are formed. Parties that do listen to their constituents, agree there should be term limits in Congress (both the house and the senate) and will get this through Congress to pass the vote, and if vetoed, pass by a majority to overrule the veto, pass laws making lobbyists and all forms of lobbying illegal and punishable by a fine that is sizeable enough to fit the crime, and a minimum prison sentencing of 1 year per $100,000 offered or excepted. Offered, should be only punishable if the actors took a substantial step to complete this illicit transaction.

    United we Stand, Divided we Fall.

    1. I’m quite disappointed to hear both-siderism coming from you, Mr. Cain. “I am tired of voting to the lesser of 2 evils during a Presidential election…”
      – – – – – –
      One of these men will be the end of democracy in America. One of these men is responsible for the death and infection of hundreds of thousands of people. One of these men has openly lied to the American people 22,000 times in less than 4 years. One of these men has openly called out to white supremeists to standby while calling BLM terrorists. One of these men has paid less taxes than you or I or just about anyone we know while he has a 24 ct gold toilet. One of these men calls women and girls nasty for using their voices and their brains. One of these men cheats on his wives. One of these men berates fallen American soldiers.
      – – – – – –
      One of these men has no compassion, no empathy, no feeling for others, hates animals and babies. One of these men turns on his staff if they do not profess blind loyalty to him. One of these men is a coward. One of these men is a narcissist. One of these men is a racist. One of these men doesn’t care about anyone but himself.
      – – – – – –
      There is no lesser of two evils in this election. There is pure evil and there is human.

      1. Boy you are brainwashed. I was an analyst level 4 in the healthcare industry. I estmate at least half of the deaths (which 80 percent were in democrat states) would currently be dead without covid. Only 6 percent of death certificates had covid-19 as the sole cause of death. 50 percent of nursing home patients die in 5 months or less, even without covid-19. You could have an infinite amount of deaths with this virus if you keep blaming it for killing the old and ill. The socialism genius of keeping a centralized database and testing as many people as you can, because if you say they have the virus, you can lift in on the death certificate. Hospitals have averaged no more than 5 patients per day during this crisis. They lead us to believe this is hundreds of people. And younger people are not getting their mammograms, colonoscopy and other critical preventive care.

        1. “I was an analyst level 4 in the healthcare industry.”
          Well, that makes you qualified to estimate better than the experts at Johns Hopkins, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

        2. When someone CAN’T AFFORD their regular healthcare, that doesn’t help either. I couldn’t afford mammograms either. Now I have Stage 4 breast cancer. NOW I am getting tons of help from a special federal program, too much but too late. It’s fatal.
          So answer that statement kidosee.

      2. So much hate that you can’t even see how outlandish some of your claims are. So does that make you a better person than Trump? I would venture to say no, you are in the same boat. So blind with hate that you let it control and ruin your life.

      3. sumdaze, thank you for expressing your honesty of how my statements made you feel and given your perspective, I can understand why this upset you. I need to explain further. My statement regarding the 2 evils was not meant to compare the 2 candidates, but the two parties of the established government and how it operates under their guard. I don’t believe either party has America in their best interests, I believe these two parties only have themselves and their financial benefactor lobbyists that they consider. And as an fervent patriot that has spent more of my life in public service, I am unwilling to allow our country to become worse that it was when I was brought into this world.

        When looking at the candidates, I believe most have already made up their minds, and they will vote accordingly. I have made up my decision, but I did so a while ago. While I will not state which way I am voting, I believe it should be abundantly clear to anyone that has gotten to know me by now.

        I also must explain, under this two-party system it must be very clearly understood. Since it is only these two candidates on the major stage, any vote for someone other than these two creates a mathematical quandary that made your vote not really change the outcome of the election, thus one of the many reasons I vehemently disdain the two-party system.

        Understand, as the system is currently set up, you have the ability to vote for anyone you want, however; every choice has its consequences. But what is not commonly discussed is how the program or formula is written. A vote for a third party in this two party system only narrows the gap between the two candidates running for the two parties. Ergo, why Bernie Sanders stated so adamantly to not vote for him during this election, because if people do, they are only narrowing the gap between Trump and Biden. And if narrowed enough, it could change the outcome, by only a few choosing to act outside of this two-party system and voting for a third option.

        Anyways, sumdaze, I hope this explains my view on the “lesser of 2 evils”. Respect is something only yourself can lose, but respect is also something only you can gain. Respect is the truest currency we as humans have today. I know that my views do not always agree or match with others, but if given and received in a respectful manner, I believe real human interaction occurs. sumdaze you earned my respect for articulately explaining why you were disappointed. I hope my response shed some additional light on my perspective, since you shared with me you perspective.

        1. I ask myself this question, “What is more evil, the GOP and DNC parties that are supporting, backing, and endorsing these candidates, or the candidates themselves”.

    1. At the time, Mr. Wallace is also the first Fox News Journalist to be asked to moderate a Presidential debate back in 2016. In the 19 previous years Fox News existed, this had never occurred aside his instance. Consequentially, he was asked back again to moderate this Presidential Debate last night.

  2. Biden didn’t have the chance to answer cuz Trump wouldn’t STFU Trump was a national embarrassment last night and basically proclaimed himself a white supremecist

    1. Nailed it, Mike. It was a national disgrace. (Another one under this morally bankrupt pResident.) Still managed to hear the compassion and concern from Biden whilst the rabid dog was snapping and snarling.

  3. RealityCheck is a better choice for president than these 2 fools and RealityCheck is a moron! Sure am glad that the media tells us we have only 2 to pick from for president. I’m voting for Kanye West! At least he’s not a racist like these 2 guys.

    1. But Trump lies all the time, and this is no exception. If you can’t see that, you’re just not smart enough to realize how ignorant you are.

      1. Great comeback. You’re a flaming lib and if you don’t see that he and Harris will bring this country down to the level of a 3rd world country, then you are indeed the idiot in this conversation.

        1. Coming from you, I’ll take that as a compliment! You apparently have no concept of either reality or truth.

  4. Well in my younger days if someone talked to me the way Trump talked to Biden I turned punched them in the face and took them down and maybe pounded them Not saying is was right but thats how it was I think Kamala could take Pence lol

  5. “Colorado Springs reacts to Tuesday night’s controversial presidential debate”
    The opinions of four people hardly represent the opinions of our whole City, even if one of the four is a know-it-all professor of political science.

  6. Grab her in the Pussy, 2020! Dang Fire Ban…can’t burn a cross in my neighbor’s yard! Well, at least my white hood counts as a mask at Walmart.

  7. Now the tables have turned…IS THAT ALL HE CAN DO IS SIT IN HIS BASEMENT CAMPAIGNING WITH A MASK ON?? Trump sure had a mask yesterday. I wish no real harm to Trump, but a bitter taste of Karma is very appropriate. He even got his wife sick dragging her everywhere, and likely forbidding her to wear a mask as well.

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