Locals attend watch parties for first presidential debate

Locals attend watch parties for first presidential debate

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Local Democrats and Republicans turned out Monday night at watch parties across the Grand Strand for the first presidential debate of 2016.

Donald Trump supporters gathered at the Second Cup coffee shop, while fans of Hillary Clinton met at El Cerro Grande.

In what was certainly one of the most viewed debates in many years, local party members from both sides were certain they were rooting for the right candidate.

"I'm so excited. This is my first year being politically involved," said Robin Holley.

Some in attendance at Monday's watch parties admitted to being on the fence beforehand.

"I came here tonight to rejoin the Republican Party," said Dewon Huggins. "I was a Democratic for the last four years after I left high school. I changed that belief going into the 2012 election because the forefront of the Republican Party was not as conservative like we used to be. We weren't the party of Abraham Lincoln like we used to be."

Holley said she thinks Trump has come a long way from when he first started because he wasn't a politician.

On the Democratic side, Clinton supporters in Horry County believe Trump is too much of a wild card and not prepared to run the country.

"I'm sure she's probably been briefed for all the possible Trump personas that show up. The calm, rational one if there is one, and the crazy raving one. I think her best strategy would (be) just nod and smile and just let him go nuts." said Bill Swanson of the Horry County Democratic Party.

With so many voters still undecided, both sides believe these debates could make or break the election.

The second debate is set for Oct. 9.

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