Pundits: Hillary Clinton Wins First Head-to-Head Presidential Debate of 2016 – in a Landslide

Michigan’s Leading Political Pundits Give Clinton the Nod, 53% to 22%


Tuesday, September 27, 2016 – Lansing, MI – Michigan’s leading political pundits say Hillary Clinton won the first head-to-head general election debate of 2016, and it wasn’t close.

The 100-plus political insiders who make up the Pundit Poll roster were asked: 

  1. Who do you think won the Presidential debate, Democrat Hillary Clinton or Republican Donald Trump?, and
  2. Should the third party candidates, like the Libertarian and Green party, have been invited to participate in the debate? 

"By more than two-to-one, the Pundits thought Hillary Clinton won the debate," said Dennis Denno, President of Denno Research.  "No Democrats and few Republicans thought yesterday was a victory for the Donald." 

  • 53 percent of Pundits thought Clinton won, while only 22 percent thought Trump was the winner.
  • 88 percent of Democratic pundits thought Clinton won, with 12 percent unsure.
  • Few Republicans thought Trump won.  Only 33 percent of Republican pundits gave the nod to their Party’s nominee, while 29 percent thought Clinton won.  38 percent were undecided.
  • Among pundits who identify themselves as independents, 54 percent thought Clinton won the debate.

Said Matt Resch, President of Resch Strategies, “Last night’s debate was unlike any we’ve seen before.  In the end, Michigan’s top political pros thought Hillary Clinton performed better, but this race is far from over.  Now it’s up to Trump to learn from the experience.  That second debate is less than 2 weeks away.”

It’s anyone’s guess, though, how the debate might have shaken out if the leading 3rd party candidates had been allowed to participate.  We’ll never know, and the pundits think that’s the right call.

59 percent do not believe the 3rd party candidates should have been invited, while 41 percent believe they should have been on stage.

The Pundit Poll is a survey on the latest political news and issues in Michigan. The survey uses emails to collect the compiled and confidential responses from political strategists, consultants, and insiders across Michigan, with the goal of offering an insider’s look at the political issues facing the state. A full list of the nearly 100 pundits in the poll can be found at: www.thepunditpoll.com.


This was a Resch Strategies/Denno Research survey of Michigan political experts, pundits, and members of the media. 100 respondents were invited and 51 responded. The survey was emailed immediately after the conclusion of the debate on Monday, September 26 and the survey was closed Tuesday morning, September 27.


Denno Research is a public opinion company with experience in polling for political campaigns, corporations, associations, and nonprofit organizations. Though headquartered in Michigan, Denno Research conducts polls nationwide. For more information, visit http://www.dennoresearch.com.

Resch Strategies is a full-service public relations and public affairs firm. With a wide range of clients, Resch Strategies specializes in crafting public relations messaging, strategies and tactics. For more information, visit http://www.reschstrategies.com