Clinton, Trump poised for must-see debate showdown

From The Associated Press:

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) — With millions watching and the American presidency on the line, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are poised for a must-see showdown Monday night, pitting the Democrat’s call for steady, experienced leadership against the Republican’s pugnacious promises to upend Washington.

The 90-minute televised debate comes six weeks before Election Day and with early voting already getting underway in some states. Despite Clinton’s advantages, including a sophisticated get-out-the-vote operation and a favorable electoral map, the race is exceedingly close.

For Clinton and Trump, the first of three debates is a crucial moment to boost their standing with voters who view both candidates negatively. Clinton struggles with questions about her trustworthiness, while Trump has yet to prove to some voters that he has the basic qualifications to serve as commander in chief.

National interest in the race has been intense, and the campaigns are expecting a record-breaking audience to watch Monday’s event at suburban New York’s Hofstra University. Both candidates were continuing intensive debate prep nearly until air time.

Clinton aides spent the days leading up to the debate appealing for the media and voters to hold Trump to a higher standard than they believe he has faced for much of the campaign. Their concern is that if the sometimes-bombastic Trump manages to keep his cool onstage, he’ll be rewarded – even if he fails to flesh out policy specifics or doesn’t tell the truth about his record and past statements.

Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said Monday that he was “concerned that Trump is going to continue to lie.”

On the other side, Kellyanne Conway, …

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