Voters are pretty convinced the moderators at the presidential debates helped Hillary Clinton more than Donald Trump.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that a plurality (46%) of Likely U.S. Voters believes most moderators will try to help Clinton in the upcoming debates. Only six percent (6%) think they will try to help Trump instead. Just 32% say most of the moderators will try to be unbiased, while 15% are undecided.
Seventy-eight percent (78%) of voters who support Trump think the moderators will try to help Clinton. Most Clinton supporters (56%) say the moderators will try to be unbiased, but 20% say they’ll try to help their candidate. Twelve percent (12%) of Clinton voters think the moderators will try to help Trump, compared to just two percent (2%) of Trump supporters who feel that way.
Four years ago before the first debate between President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney, 71% of Republicans and 56% of unaffiliated voters said debate moderators are biased, but Democrats by a 47% to 30% margin felt they were not biased. In 2008 before the first debate, 22% felt the first moderator, veteran PBS newsman Jim Lehrer, would try to help Obama, while six percent (6%) expected him to help GOP nominee John McCain. Forty-three percent (43%) though Lehrer would play a neutral role.
This year's debates are potentially a breakaway moment for either Clinton or Trump who have been running neck-and-neck for weeks in Rasmussen Reports' White House Watch survey. Trump is ahead by five points in the latest survey, but it's too early to say if he is gaining any traction over his rival.