The debate was an embarrassment for everyone involved

In any event, Trump lied a lot. And Hillary lied a lot, although she does it with far more dexterity and subtlety — on her trade position, on taxes, on murder rates, on NATO and so on. Then again, “Our candidate lied less than yours!” is an argument regularly used by partisans in 2016. With this measurement, it seems the consensus on cable news was that Clinton won. If I was forced to call it, I’d also probably give the debate to Hillary on points. Largely because Trump needlessly pummeled himself in the second half.

Yet media consensus has a terrible track record in 2016. So no one should underestimate the effectiveness of Trump’s populist positioning on trade or law and order. Perhaps we shouldn’t underestimate how a dismissive and smirking Hillary plays in certain places in America, either. However the polls shake it, though, I feel confident saying that everyone in country is now dumber for having listened to this debate.

Two more to go.