What to watch for during the final presidential debate | FiveThirtyEight

Can Donald Trump make up lost ground during the last presidential debate?
8:07 | 10/23/20

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Transcript for What to watch for during the final presidential debate | FiveThirtyEight
Hello and welcome Q 530s. Virtual newsroom were all prepared to cover the second and final presidential debate this evening. We're just about a week and a half away from Election Day. And this is one of the last major events outside. Some outside October surprise. That could shake up the race so accurate meter talk about rhetoric stands. And if we could expect this to changed much arts and politics editors are process that hey Sarah speaking. Author of us is quantitative and or more and more. So. As I mentioned it one of the last major crimes that could shake things up where we stand today in terms. Biden and trump in this race. Rates so overall. Trump is running out of time and right now in our forecast he has a twelve and 100 shot at winning the Electoral College which is not great he needs some polls. With better numbers to help close that gap. The other thing is it's just we are now less than two weeks away and that's just not that much historically speaking movement in the polls in the last two weeks. Yes the call me letter and 26 teen did contribute to about a three point shift toward trapped. But right now we're talking about the nine to ten point lead for write in truck needs more than a three point shift. Ray and there much fewer undecided voters this time around in the polls. That shift would have to come from people who are currently supporting Biden they would have to change your mind whereas last timing could it can come from this that is. Group of people haven't decided yet. We as we always hop before these debates have conducted polling with ships those looking into how Americans are thinking about the candidates coming into the debate and then of course we poll them again. Actividentity. More what did we find in the most recent ground appalling. Well like in previous rounds. Most people are pretty sat on whether you undecided. People. On the 2% of people on our Paulson that they waging an eight point between two candidates and Ethan eats up 50% chance of getting their so that's. That's obvious enough people. More people think that it's a tops the likes of thinking that races is story then and the polls seem to imply 16%. Said that it was 5050 between the candidates. And 63%. Overalls that it was like less than short so. That that's anyone who said that they weren't absolutely certain that trump or wood and the other key thing is is on paper unity. Trump has on this in this poll always then behind Biden on those numbers but those not just. And in fact he's. Doing slightly worse on that magic and what's in the forests in the first time in the fall few weeks so Biden is currently he. At a net favorability rating of plus four. And trump is. And an aggravating rating on negative 24 so that's it when he eight point gap. And that's notable in particular practices. While trump was also really unpopular before the 26 elections so was hit him so Hillary Clinton was not. Breaking even in favor before the accident and Biden ages. Not quite that much of that plus four but that but it is sort of a difference between the two candidates that's worth. Nazis that's really important point blast acts. Yes and I was looking into this I think reporters here the real clear politics average Hillary Clinton without a net negative twelve. Going into the final weeks of the 2016. Election and part of the reason. The call me latter and have such a significant impact on the outcome of the election is because. There were undecided voters were essentially disliked both candidates and that was the thing that put them over yet whereas at this point. There are fewer people who say I don't like Biden and I don't like props of that plan on it. So the question going into tonight not necessarily add data to every question but is. How much will the format change as a result of the moderator beauty marks from the first two minutes each candidates responses. What do you make. This change I mean doesn't shape the public experiences the debate. It definitely will read it it's hard for me to suss out in advance I think what the affect of that will be because someone. Staff had reached the point you know. I didn't trump still here each other making an eruptions we at home to swap now so they take away from the last debate was the lack civility. That was on display between trump and I didn't I do think the meeting at the microphone we'll help solve for that but there's still a lot of pressure on the moderator. To how to they'd follow up with questions did they hold candidates accountable for pushing on tough issues and what it's about like. Right in the vice presidential debate there was much less interrupting. But one of the things that was raised is the lack of follow up questions by the moderator when cat when. Candidates did very enhance the question side of interested to see whether that's different. Yes and of course the candidates can still interrupted toddler after the first two minutes are over because. The moderator Paul -- the option of using an annuity or just an automatic and you. For the first two minutes when the candidates got way out. Their arguments. So. Art werder. You know twelve days away from Election Day. We have this to be. What other things are and he. Are there any other you know unknowns between now and Election Day or is it basically just be you know be someday an October surprise that nothing has made. Well as you say be wary of October surprises right in my match take up theories that match. That's set even if traps swear to drop to 5% but still a significant chance of him winning and something that should be taken seriously particularly when so many Americans have sent that they use the stakes at this election. So half way. The other thing to keep in mind to it's it's just a lot of uncertainty this year with a pandemic with how coatings going to work rarity hearing about delays in Pennsylvania a key battleground state. Will the vote count shift effort Democrats perhaps in some key states as we get votes in that where cast on election dare beyond. Seditious a lot of volatility with turnout in which party that'll benefit fixtures other stories she'd have GOP registration numbers being or maybe more GO key. Voters turnout on election days it's hard to calibrate. Where to turn out. It's going for either party at this point. It's hard to compared to previous years because of this company. Situation. Because of the fact that it's this is. Much more people are voting Iranian. We can't really take that as a measure of enthusiasm are as a measure anything else and it's really hard to calibrate. That's. I think all these early numbers are there accident that's taken. I mean it very inches thing but it's also really hard to gain anything concrete about how the race is gonna play out from these numbers both their registration numbers other members. Art what we all horse retracting it these numbers up here and through Election Day but that's it pronounces they use her more. Thinks thank you. And it made sure to check out our live blog this evening during the debate at 530 dot com will also hop podcast. After the fact on the Hartford politics podcast and lastly of course don't forget to subscribe depart pretty.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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