‘My mind is made up’: Why some viewers say Trump, Biden debates won’t affect their vote

Two more presidential debates scheduled ahead of Nov. 3 election

President Donald Trump makes a points as Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden listens during the first presidential debate Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, Pool) (Morry Gash)

Just five weeks before Election Day, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden faced off in the year’s first presidential debate on Sept. 29.

With two more presidential debates on the horizon, we’re asking our viewers if the debates have any chance of changing your mind about either former Vice President Biden or President Trump before hitting the polls -- or mailing in your ballot -- by November 3.

As of Sunday night, 91% of respondents have said that the candidates will not be able to change their mind about them during the presidential debates.

A number of respondents explained why -- here’s what some viewers had to say:

“The debate reinforced my opinion of our president as an individual who I cannot respect or support. I am saddened and frightened by the extent to which he is dividing us instead of leading us.”

-- Anonymous

“My mind is already made up. I voted for Trump the last time and will vote for him this time. I know what Trump thinks about immigration, sanctuary cities, abolishing ICE and trade with China. I would like to know what Biden says about these issues. In my opinion, Biden is too old for all the stress that comes with being president, a 24/7 job. Joe won’t be able to handle his responsibilities. Give him a year and Harris will be president.”

-- Anonymous

“I view the debates as another source of information about my candidate, and to confirm my choice in my mind. I am confident enough in my choice to say that the odds of my candidate disappointing me with his views or performance is extremely low -- almost none. (If that were to happen, I honestly don’t know what I would do.) That doesn’t mean that the debate wasn’t important or useful, or that I won’t watch the other debates. I will. I just have to; it’s too important to skip. As awful as watching the debate was, as much as I wanted to press “mute,” I had to be a witness.”

-- Missamech

“I follow the news closely and already know the policies and beliefs of each candidate. Hearing them express that belief during a heated debate will not influence me at all. I know who I’m voting for.”

-- Anonymous

“Prior to the debate, I felt both candidate were a couple of idiots talking out of the side of their faces with no real connection to the general public. Now, after the debate, I (still) feel they are both idiots with no real connection to humans in general. They both changed my opinion equally.”

-- Douglas

“I will vote for the party that has the platform that I agree with. These debates mean nothing.”

-- Kemberlee

“There is absolutely zero chance my mind will be changed based on (the first) debate or any debate going forward. One of the two candidates is absolutely unfit to be president. That individual, at this point, cannot say anything that would even get me to think about changing my mind. Actions speak louder than words and I have seen enough to know who I will be voting for.”

-- Rich

“Both of their records speak for themselves. The debates will only help those who are undecided.”

-- Anonymous

“Previous presidential candidates had a better chance to influence my decision but this time I think there is so much news every day about both of these candidates, I can’t believe there will be any surprises.”

-- Anonymous

“Trump changed my mind (Tuesday) night with his lack of agenda, lies and hateful statements.”

-- Anonymous

“They have both been in the media for a couple of months, actively saying what they can do and what the other one has not done. I have read multiple articles on each one. Unless one of them has a bombshell to drop on the other, my mind is made up.”

-- Anonymous

“I can’t imagine a plausible scenario where my vote would change in this presidential election. Both Biden and Trump have been showing the public who they are for as long as I have been alive. As president, Trump has left us with no question as to who he is. Normally, it’s pretty easy to tune out politics and then catch up during election years. This president has made that nearly impossible. It feels like I have no choice but to hear about some new divisive, underhanded, subversive, or simply outrageous statement he has made every week. At best, it’s exhausting. At worst, it’s terrifying. Biden was not my first choice as a challenger to go up against Trump but I think he is the right person for the job in this moment. With everything we, as a nation, have gone through this year, we need an empathetic and unifying leader. Joe Biden will at least try to heal the national divide. Trump has made it clear that he will only widen it for his own benefit. I normally keep my political opinions to myself but the constant chaos coming out of the White House in the last four years has led me to become more outspoken on the issues. I even put a political sign in my yard for the first time. My vote has never felt like it mattered more than it does right now and it is locked in for Joe.”

-- Anonymous

“Biden will convince me to vote for Trump. Biden is too wishy-washy.”

-- John

“President Trump says stuff all of the time, and then you blink and he’s saying something completely different. It would take a lot more than the words coming out of his mouth for 90 minutes to earn my vote. However, I am hoping that VP Biden’s debate performance makes me more comfortable with supporting him (and has the same effect on any undecided voters, too!).”

-- Anonymous

“There is nothing Joe can say that will make me vote for him or his policies.”

-- Anonymous

“I always viewed Trump as a bully and an embarrassment to the office of president; the debate just affirmed this for me.”

-- Anonymous

“The debate was really bad, as I dislike both candidates, and seeing them debate for about 20 minutes was telltale enough for me to turn it off and shrug it off as what I already know.”

-- Chris

“I already know what each candidate stands for and against. I already know who will best represent my beliefs and has my friends' and family’s best interest at heart. There is nothing the other candidate could say or do to change my mind.”

-- Stacey

“I had already made up my mind about four years ago!”

-- Chuck

“No one will change their mind, (the debates) will only increase everyone’s opinion of the candidate they have already settled on. We have seen what Trump can do in four years and seen what Biden did not do in 47. So I believe (the debates) will not make a difference, only increase enthusiasm for the incumbent.”

-- Nancy

“We have seen four years of President Trump. If you are a Trump supporter, a debate is not likely to change your mind. If you are not a Trump supporter, listening to more lies will not make you inclined to vote for him. I think most people for Biden are voting against Trump more than something extraordinary about Biden. So, debates won’t change the minds of many, I don’t think. Biden’s character and integrity might win a few undecided folks.”

-- Anonymous

“I knew who I was going to vote for since Trump won the election in 2016. I did not vote for him in 2016 and will not vote for him in November. He treats anyone that isn’t White less superior than him; his treatment of immigrants is terrible; he did not respect the dying wishes of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; he left the Paris agreement and mishandled other environmental issues; tear gassed and fired rubber bullets at peaceful BLM protests; was impeached and more. He is running this country like he runs a business: into the ground.”

-- Nicole

“After four years of divisive rhetoric, lack of leadership during the pandemic, corruption at the highest levels, and further endangering the future of the planet, there is nothing that the current incumbent can say that will do anything but reaffirm the belief that he will go down as the worst president in U.S. history.”

-- Mary

“I have seen enough from the last four years to know exactly who I need to vote for. There is nothing that can be said at the debate or anywhere else that could change my mind.”

-- Gwen

What do you think? Can Trump or Biden change your mind about them during the presidential debates?

Let us know:

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About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.