The first US presidential debate took place yesterday. It had been eagerly anticipated by traders, US voters, and global citizens alike.
Trump’s aggressive and provocative debating style is well known at this point.
However, the main focus was on how well the Democratic candidate Joe Biden would hold up against Trump’s attacks.
The answer is: reasonably well.
In a post-debate poll conducted by CNN, 6 out of 10 surveyed felt that Biden had won the debate or, at least, emerged the most unscathed.
Key Topics Covered During the Debate
One of the key topics covered during the debate was, of course, the COVID pandemic.
Trump reiterated what we’ve heard him profusely affirm over recent months. He claimed that despite the death toll surpassing 200,000, his administration prevented that number from being a lot higher.
Trump also stated that Biden would have not been anywhere near as successful in handling the crisis.
Biden, however, was firm in his assertation that the president handled the pandemic poorly. The democrat cautioned that “a lot of people died and a lot more are going to die unless he gets a lot smarter, a lot quicker”.
The debate quickly moved onto the issue of race relations, a theme which alongside the COVID pandemic, has been a key focus point over 2020.
Biden was strident in accusing Trump of stoking racial tensions during his handling of the COVID pandemic.
He also lambasted the president over his claims that democrat-backed housing proposals to increase diversity in US suburbs would destroy the American way of life there.
Trump, meanwhile, was quick to attack Biden over his support for an anti-crime bill in 1993. At the time, the bill in question caused a dramatic increase in incarceration rates among Black people.
Trump Fails to Denounce White Supremacists
One of the more controversial moments of the debate was Trump’s inability to condemn white supremacy.
When asked to denounce white supremacists and right-wing violence, the president skirted around the question. Instead, he offered only the following statement:
“Proud Boys, stand back and stand by.”
He then swiftly moved on to attack Antifa and the left.
Messy First Debate
The tone of the debate was messy and largely farcical.
Trump was obvious in his attempts to unnerve Biden, constantly interrupting and dogging him as he spoke.
So much so that Biden, exasperated, exclaimed:
“Will you shut up man?”
For the most part, though. Biden was able to cope with Trump’s attacks. However, at times, the democrat was drawn into Trump’s style, at one point calling the president a “clown”.
All in all, the debate was light on real substance. And it will likely do very little to alter the views of any undecided voters.
The market reaction was fairly subdued, with equities a little lower in the wake of the debate. Meanwhile, the dollar has traded a little higher.
USD Higher Following Debate
The dollar index is retesting the 93.88 level support having recently broken back above the level following the reversal from 92.84 lows. While the 93.88 level holds as support, the focus remains on further upside in the near term with the 95.70 level the next upside region to note.