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00000179-cdc6-d978-adfd-cfc6d7d40002Coverage of the issues, races and people shaping Kansas elections in 2016, including statewide coverage in partnership with KCUR, Kansas Public Radio, and High Plains Public Radio.

WSU Debate Coach Previews Upcoming Presidential Debate

A composite image of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

The first U.S. presidential debate is on Monday night between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and her Republican rival Donald Trump. KMUW's Carla Eckels spoke with a Wichita debate coach about the matchup.

Jeff Jarman is interim director of the Elliott School of Communication, as well as the WSU debate coach. He says it will be fascinating to see how well each candidate can stick to their expectations.

Jarman says a lot of what the debates reveal is the character of the candidates, and he says we watch them to see if they can be presidential.

“In Trump’s case, that means whether he can avoid an outburst or something that doesn’t seem like he’s capable of leading the country," Jarman says. "In Clinton’s case, it’s whether or not she can remain strong without falling victim to some gender-based stereotypes.

Jarman says the format used now is unique in that moderators tend to ask just six questions, and candidates debate them in depth. He says debates don’t typically move large numbers of people. They tend to reinforce pre-existing beliefs, but he says during this debate season, a considerable movement may happen.


Carla Eckels is assistant news director and the host of Soulsations. Follow her on Twitter @Eckels.

To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.