The first debate of the 2016 fall season has concluded with a whimper more than a bang. If you were expecting the sky to fall or the race to be completed upended, you were sorely disappointed. If you went into the debate expecting or hoping see a more thoughtful, nuanced and disciplined Trump, you didn’t get it. If you expected - or hoped - to hear Hillary Clinton’s vision for the future or the ways in which her plans and policies would translate directly to you and your family, you didn’t get that either. What you did get was a lot of rehashing of the weaknesses of both candidates - though much more of Trump’s than Clinton’s. Overall, it was a downer of a debate.

My colleague David Wasserman got to see how this debate played in Peoria. Literally. He was in Peoria, Illinois watching the debate with a group of Bradley University students. His most salient take-away from conversations with a handful of these students: all “badly want Clinton and Trump to focus more on the future and

More from the Cook Political Report

Four Possible Leaders; Four Unenviable Tasks
National Politics
Photo of Charlie Cook
First Person
Cook Politcal Logo
Where History Rhymed and Where It Didn’t
National Politics
AW