University of New Haven holds debate focus group, watch party for students

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– The second presidential debate is getting a lot of interest here in Connecticut. Students at the University of New Haven came together Sunday evening to watch the debate.

The university had a party on campus for students to watch the debate and then discuss it. About 150 students came.

“I’m studying economics at school so I’m interested in their economic policies,” said UNH student Joshua Lutts. “I have different thoughts on each of their economic policies.”

Many students on campus are undecided, and this was an opportunity for them to learn more about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. They also learned more about the political process.

Related: 5 Storylines to Watch at Sunday Night’s Presidential Debate 

Students completed a survey before and after the debate to see if what the candidates had to say changed their stance. Several undecided students took part in a focus group before the debate started to talk about each of the candidates.

“It was interesting to hear other people’s views and not just Political Science majors but other majors as well,” said UNH student Cindy Zhunio.

“[The students] long for more positivity, more hope and talk about the future, talking about our national debt and how we’re going to address that,” said Chris Haynes, Assistant Professor & Political Science Program Coordinator, University of New Haven

Students on campus say they’re disappointed in all the negativity of this election and that they’re hoping the candidates will talk about issues that matter to them, like the economy.

“This is my first election for president and we have to pick between literally the lesser of two evils at this point,” said UNH student Kirk Giglio.

Watch party organizers informally asked students who they thought won the debate. A few dozen students responded. About half believe Clinton won, nearly a quarter thought Trump won, and the rest do not believe anyone won.

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