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Poll: Who won the first of the 2016 presidential debates?

It's over, finally.

And the question on many minds, of course, is: who won? Hillary Clinton, or Donald Trump?

You get the chance to voice your opinion about this year's first presidential debate below.

[poll id="43"]

Note: This is a readership poll, not a scientific poll. Results should not be considered an accurate reflection of public opinion.

But of course, before deciding, you might find that there's a lot to review: 90 minutes of sound bites and hectoring and pedantic policy prescriptions. (You can guess which candidates was responsible for the most of which.)

Here's a look at the highlights:

"Achieving prosperity"

The first part of the debate was called "achieving prosperity," but it could have been called "achieving interruptions."

Trump, the Republican nominee, interrupted Clinton, the Democrat, 40 times in the first half hour of the debate, according to Vox.com. And in doing so, he took Clinton to task on economics again and again.

Of course, we've heard some of what he said before.

"Our jobs are fleeing the country and the'yre going to Mexico," he said. "They're going to many other countries....Thousands of jobs are leaving."

Even more to the point, he noted that Clinton has been part of life for much of America's industrial decline.

"Why hasn't she made the agreements better?" he asked.

Clinton replied that she had tried to do just that, opposing trade deals such as CAFTA that don't meet her standards for fairness.

After much of this back-and-forth, with Trump interrupting Clinton again and again, he interrupted in a way that might backfire.

When Clinton said: "Donald was one of the people rooting for a housing crisis," Trump interjected: "That's called business, by the way."

And that was by no means the only heated moment in the part of the debate that was supposedly about economics.

Clinton took issue with Trump's much-documented habit of not paying contractors, saying: "I've met a lot of the people who were stiffed by you and your businesses, Donald."

Trump's response? Maybe those contractors didn't do a good job. Beyond that, "look, it's all words, it's all sound bites," he said.

Trump also made light of his refusal to release his tax returns, offering a challenge to Clinton: he'll release his tax returns when she releases all the emails from the private email server she used as secretary of state.

America's direction

Much of the section about "America's direction" dwelled on race, and the two candidates showed once again that they see things very differently.

Trump, for example, offered an aggressive defense of "stop and frisk," a controversial -- and as of this point, unconstitutional -- practice that many African-Americans equate with racial profiling.

"These are felons. These are bad people. You have to have stop and frisk," Trump said.

Clinton, in contrast, offered a much more nuanced, sympathetic view of Black America, praising African-American churches and the community at large.

"It's really unfortunate that he paints such a dire picture of African American communities in our country," Clinton said -- prompting Trump to sigh.

Trump and Clinton also entered a prolonged back and forth about Trump's questioning of President Barack Obama's citizenship, with each blaming the other for the controversy.

Securing America

The debate ended on foreign policy issues, and moderator Lester Holt made sure it was not an afterthought.

Again and again, Trump argued -- incorrectly -- that he had not supported the Iraq War.

The idea that he supported it is "a mainstream media nonsense put out by her."

Holt calmly replied: "The record shows otherwise."

Meantime, Clinton took Trump to task for saying that it's possible that other countries, such as Japan, should have nuclear weapons.

"His cavalier attitude about nuclear weapons is so deeply troubling," she said.

email: jzremski@buffnews.com

 

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