What to watch for during tonight’s Trump, Clinton debate

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton campaigning in West Virginia. (AP photos)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Record audiences are expected for Monday night’s debate, the first time Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump will appear on stage together in their respective bids to become the next president of the United States.

Sherri Greenberg, professor of government at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and former state representative, spoke with KXAN’s Robert Hadlock, outlining what voters should be listening to during the debate.

High stakes for both candidates

“This is a tight race and I think more than any debate we’ve seen in, I don’t know, my lifetime, the stakes are very high for both of them in this debate,” Greenberg said.

  • Watch the debate live on KXAN TV and KXAN.com Monday starting at 8 p.m. local time. 

“The test here is really, how do they meet that bar of operating under pressure? And you say, ‘Well what do you mean pressure, it’s a debate’. Yes, that is a pressure cooker debate situation. For Donald Trump, let’s keep in mind that the debates that he did [included] quite a few on the stage… And of course, for Hillary Clinton, although she has done a lot of debating that’s been one-on-one, never with someone quite like Donald Trump, and that’s pressure.”

Who will be the most composed?

“Clearly a big question is: who has the temperament to be president? There will be some who will be waiting to see if Donald Trump can act presidential — civilized, you know — someone you could see in the role of president,” Greenberg explained. “There will be others looking to see, ‘Is Hillary Clinton going to come off as someone strong, authoritative and does she have the temperament to be president?”

Will the candidates overcome their trust deficits?

“Both candidates have been consistently not polling well on the trust issue, and so I think that for Hillary Clinton it will be, ‘Does she come across as authentic, does she come across as someone you can trust?’ For Donald Trump, it think it will be, “Is this someone you can trust, is this someone who is going to tell you the truth? Not say one thing one day and something else the other.”

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