Pundits React: Who Won The Second Debate, Clinton Or Trump?

The Hill asked a few of its regular contributors to assess the highly anticipated second presidential debate between nominees Hillary Clinton (D) and Donald Trump (R). Here are their reactions.

Ford O'Connell

Winner: Donald Trump

Before the second debate, Trump's obituary was being written in stone. After Sunday night in St. Louis, that has changed. In what might have been the ugliest and tensest presidential debate in the modern era, Trump managed to stay the bleeding and resuscitate a campaign that was on life support — an impressive feat in the face of a daunting video that threatened to permanently sink him.

There is no question that Trump's repeated jabs at Clinton on everything from her email scandal to taxes, mixed with a dash of humor, fired up his base and put Clinton on her heels. Whether it will ultimately move the needle with suburban, college-educated white voters — a group Trump desperately needs — is still an open question.

With time not on his side and still hoping for a game-changer, Trump lives to fight another day.

O'Connell is the chairman of CivicForumPAC, an adjunct professor at George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management, worked on John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign and is author of the book "Hail Mary: The 10-Step Playbook for Republican Recovery."

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