5 dynamics that could determine the first debate

1 Hillary Clinton’s health and appearance

One might like to imagine that a debate to determine leader of the free world would be settled on a sombre analysis of their respective policy credentials, but it has never been the case. Or at least since presidential debates became televised in 1960. Famously, Richard Nixon won that opener among radio listeners but lost the TV audience, thanks to his pallid, sweaty appearance. He never recovered from that, and JFK was elected.

So it should come as no surprise that much of the pre-debate chatter, including among bettors, concerns how healthy Hillary Clinton will appear on Monday night. Three weeks ago, I noted that her health would be one of the key stories to follow throughout the campaign. Within a few days it became the dominant narrative after she appeared to faint following a 9/11 memorial and was forced to admit to suffering from pneumonia.
The Conservative media and internet is awash with rumours of her demise. Many raise legitimate questions about why news of this illness was held back, whether it really was pneumonia and why her schedule remains extremely light. Others simply claim she’s dead and been replaced by a double.

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