The Daily Update - Presidential debate

Tonight we’ll see the first presidential debate with Clinton and Trump going head to head as the latest polls show the pair are virtually neck and neck. According to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, those likely to vote put Clinton just ahead on 46%, with Trump on 44%. The debate, to be held at New York's Hofstra University is expected to draw a record audience of over 100m people.

The Washington Post-ABC News poll also asked a number of questions about which candidate they trusted more to handle certain issues, where there were some surprising results. On the economy, 50% of people said they would trust Trump as opposed to 43% would trust Clinton. On terrorism, 47% sided with Trump, with 45% saying Clinton, and on the question of ethics in government, a weak point for Clinton, only 1% of people trusted Trump more than Clinton with a 44%/43% split.  On other issues, such as immigration, health care, looking out for the middle classes as well as ability to handle an international crisis, Clinton was a clear winner.

The question of trust is a weak point for both runners, perhaps unsurprisingly. Only 33% of voters believe Clinton is honest and trustworthy, against 62% saying she is not. With Trump, the percentages are 42% for versus 53% against.

The race for the White House is also being defined by gender, education and race. 54% of men plan to vote for Trump, 55% of woman for Clinton. Of the white population, Trump wins 53% to 37%, however non-white’s plan to back Clinton 69% to 19%. The biggest gulf though is that of voters without a college degree, where Trump leads Clinton by nearly 4 to 1.

Also over the weekend we had the result of Labour’s bitter leadership battle, where Jeremy Corbyn won an increased percentage of his party members’ vote, nearly 62%, from the 59.5% he won in last year’s contest. After calls for party unity, Corbyn used his acceptance speech to attack the Prime Minister’s decision to bring back grammar schools in England saying “This time next week we will hit the streets united as a party. I am calling on Labour party members to join us in a national campaign for inclusive education for all next Saturday”. However, starting with this issue, he looks to be out of touch with the wider population. In a recent YouGov poll, 67% of parents asked said they would send their children to a grammar school if they passed their 11+ versus just 10% saying they would not. Of those people who themselves attended a grammar school, over 60% believe they should build more as opposed to just 17% wanting them scrapped.