Will final presidential debate change voters' minds? - WSMV Channel 4

Will final presidential debate change voters' minds?

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Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will face off Wednesday night for the last debate before Election Day.

But early voting in Tennessee is already underway. So how much will the debate really matter and to whom?

"I think right now what the candidates are trying to do, they've already solidified their bases, some of them may be trying to reinforce those bases, but what I think it comes down to is the undecideds," said Dr. Michael McDonald, professor of law and criminal justice at Cumberland University and Columbia State Community College.

McDonald also served as the Davidson County election administrator for 10 years until 2004.

"I've never seen a national election where the candidates, for whatever reasons, have not addressed the issues," McDonald said. "I can't think about a more important time to talk about issues of education, national security and national defense, immigration issues."

While most voters can argue that issues are being discussed, McDonald said there haven't been enough details. He hopes that will change Wednesday night.

"Each voter's got to make up their minds in terms of the level of proficiency that each candidate has addressed the issues that we're facing," McDonald said. "Historically, people have listened to debates, only to have their positions reinforced. At this point I think we're looking at them a little bit differently.”

"I think voters would like to see a debate where the candidates talked more about them and less about themselves," said Channel 4 political analyst Kent Syler. “Voters are well aware of both candidate's shortcomings. However, they still don't have a clear vision of how they will address the major issues facing the country. If both Clinton and Trump will lay off the personal attacks, this debate could give them a chance to discuss serious issues.”

As each campaign pulls out the last minute attempts refute the other, McDonald said this election will boil down to character.

"I think the educated voter has to be able to filter through all of the theatrics to say who is going to be in the best position to serve this country the next four years,” he said.

McDonald also dismissed Trump's claims that the election is rigged.

“There is no basis for any issues related to voter fraud," he said.

McDonald said even election hacking would be difficult because county election systems are not online or linked together.

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