Muted Microphones could play critical role in second Presidential debate
Columbia (SC): Tonight’s debate is going to be a little bit different from the first presidential debate of the year, and the reason for this is the moderator now has the ability to mute each candidate’s microphones.
The moderator can mute the candidate’s microphones whenever he wants which is leaving many experts believing that muting the microphones will enhance the quality of responses of the questions asked to both candidates.
Dr. Robert Oldendick of the University of South Carolina’s Political Science Department states that we should see a difference in the quality of responses in questions asked directly to each candidate by the moderator in the two-minute segments. “Those 2-minute segments are going to be more informative I think it is certainly going to be an opportunity for each of the candidates to present themselves without interruptions.”
Normally in a direct question segment candidates are supposed to sit quietly while the other candidate is answering a question asked directly to them by the moderator, but this is far from what we saw in the first debate. After the first debate many viewers complained about the constant interruptions from both sides of the podiums claiming it made the debate hard to follow.
Although Oldendick expects this to make a difference in the quality of responses of questions asked directly to each candidate, he still believes when the floor is open for either candidate to respond to a question we will see the same story as the last debate.
Dr. Todd Shaw of the University of South Carolina’s Political Science Department thinks that because the microphones can be muted it will it eliminate some of the frustrations felt by both candidates. “You know we have never had a Presidential candidate one say to the other can you please shut up we’ve just never had that we’d have to go back a ways in American politics to see something that contentious.”
Even though Shaw believes the muting of the microphones will eliminate some of the anger the candidates are feeling he does not see this debate effecting the outcome of the election. “It is a little late for this particular debate to make a critical difference but in close margins in close races and close battle ground states quite possibly will mobilize.”
The second debate is scheduled for tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern standard time.