By Maria Curi
For millennials watching Sunday night’s presidential debate in Iowa City, the candidates had little to offer beyond banter.
Millennial voters interviewed by The Daily Iowan said they believed that neither this debate nor the previous presidential debate at Hofstra University had much relevance to them.
“Both debates had nothing to do with young people,” said UI senior Jessica Horan. “It’s hard for people our age to relate to anyone.”
UI senior Jade Rivera said there was a “disconnect” between the two major party candidates and college students, and neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump has been able to woo young voters like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders or President Obama.
Rivera, Amanda Horan, and Jessica Horan, who all caucused for Sanders in the Iowa caucuses, said they wanted to see more talk about combating high student debt, strengthening a weak job market, and increasing voting access.
Voting access was only discussed once, when an audience member asked about the nomination to the Supreme Court, and Clinton responded she wants a judge who will address restrictive voting laws aimed at people of color.
The town hall-style debate was held at Washington University in St. Louis, and questions came from undecided voters and the two moderators, Anderson Cooper of CNN and Martha Raddatz of ABC.
Amanda Horan said she was disappointed by Clinton’s method of handling Trump’s attacks.
“She shouldn’t have stooped to Trump’s level and taking him on instead of focusing on her policies,” she said
Cary Covington, a UI political-science associate professor, said although most people come into debates with their minds made up already, the debates serve the purpose of showing the candidates’ character.
In regards to Syrian policy, Donald Trump broke from his running mate Indiana Gov. Mike Pence saying, “He and I haven’t spoken, and we don’t agree.”
Rivera said she was turned off by Trump’s noticeable differences from Pence.
“It showed how not on the same page they are,” she said. “That’s a red flag for me.”
Both presidential candidates stepped onto the debate stage with controversies circulating their campaigns.
On Oct. 7, a tape from 2005 obtained by the Washington Post was released in which Trump said he had made moves on a married woman “like a b****.”
“And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the p****. You can do anything,” Trump said in the video.
The tape ignited negative reactions from notable Republicans such as House Speaker Paul Ryan who described himself as “sickened” by the tape and uninvited Trump from an event in Wisconsin on Oct. 8.
Wade Nash, a UI student who supported Trump, said the newly leaked recording made him lean toward writing somebody in.
Also on Oct. 7, WikiLeaks posted hacked emails from John Podesta, the chairman of the Clinton campaign, containing excerpts of closed-door speeches Clinton gave to Wall Street firms after serving as secretary of State.
For example, in a 2013 speech to members of the National Multi-Housing Council, Clinton said in regards to politics “you need both a public and a private position.” The emails have not been authenticated by the Clinton campaign, but if they prove to be valid, the accusations made by Sanders’ supporters that Clinton is a corporate sell-out, may gain traction.
EPI reporters Mitch McAndrew and Matthew Jack contributed to this story.