FORT SMITH (KFSM)—Many people already have their minds made up about who they're going to vote for ahead of Monday night’s (Sept. 26) debate, but a local political science professor said it’s not too late for the candidates to sway voters.
“A wise person told me to always keep an open mind, so I think I will approach it that way,” said resident Kendall Triplett. "Just keep an open mind to hear what both parties have to say."
But resident Scott Heiden said regardless of what happens during the presidential debate, he’s still voting for Donald Trump.
“We already know he's crazy, but I’m going to vote for who I'm going to vote for and hope it works,” Heiden said.
Heiden is one of a projected 100 million people who will be voting in the election this fall.
“I'll watch it anyways just to see how it goes,” he said. “It'll be kind of interesting to see how he reacts. Is he calmer now? Is he stronger or not?”
Dr. Williams Yamkam is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith.
“Those two candidates are not very well liked by the voters, and ultimately many voters will still hold their nose to vote for the candidate that they want,” he said.
Yamkam said Clinton will be focusing on her slogan “Stronger Together” painting Trump as someone who is divisive and doesn’t have the temperament to lead the country. Meanwhile, Trump will go back to his slogan “Make America Great Again.”
“He's probably going to be painting Hillary Clinton as a corrupt politician, someone who has been there for many many years and as someone who is part of the problem that the United States of America faces today,” Yamkam said.
He said while Clinton's strength is her experience, she needs to focus on connecting with people.
“On the other hand we have Donald Trump,” he said. "Reportedly doesn't know as much about policy but he has a very great instinct to connect with voters.”
You can watch the debate on Channel 5 starting at 8 p.m.
According to the Washington Post, Clinton leads by two points within the poll’s margin of error.