Looking ahead to final debate between Clinton, Trump - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Looking ahead to final debate between Clinton, Trump

Left: Donald Trump; Right: Hillary Clinton (Source: NBC News) Left: Donald Trump; Right: Hillary Clinton (Source: NBC News)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The final debate between presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is Wednesday night, less than three weeks from Election Day.

It is a debate that could provide clarity for some voters.

“I think in this very last debate, I think voters will be looking for maybe a moment of ... calm,” said WMBF News' political expert Holley Tankersley, with Coastal Carolina University. 

Coming off the second debate, Tankersley believes both candidates have some serious work to do.

“For Mrs. Clinton I think what she's looking at is maybe can she get back to her demeanor and her responses and her ability to engage with an audience. She had in the first debate," Tankersley said. "For Mr. Trump, can he not take the bait for one. So, can he avoid being overly responsive to criticisms or attacks? But second, can he change his fundamental body language and demeanor?”

A showing of aggression is something Tankersley believes can turn off a demographic Trump needs - women.

“You cannot win an election in this country unless you win a significant amount of women’s votes," she said. "And his body language in these debates has not helped him (with) that.”

As allegations of sexual assault and discriminatory actions in the workplace still surround Trump and may come up in Wednesday’s debate, Tankersley said Clinton will have her own issues to address.

“Sec. Clinton has to know that there will be questions about the WikiLeaks emails and the other emails that have come out, and she is probably preparing for those now," Tankersley said. "You know that's a tall order for her to be able to respond to those effectively while also remaining as positive as she can while talking about policy details and the future of the country.”

Tankersley added that while Clinton also has to prepare for personal attacks - some bringing up her husband's actions in the past - the one advantage she may have over Trump is that the allegations surrounding her emails are not new.

“So he has more of a challenge in that way," she said. "In some ways, Sec. Clinton can simply say, 'You know, I apologize. This is not anything new. These are things we have already discussed and we need to talk about issues.' Mr. Trump has to address the allegations because it is new information.”

The debate will air Wednesday starting at 9 p.m., on WMBF News.

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