Town hall debate in St. Louis between Presidential candidates will be very different from the first debate


ST. LOUIS — The campus of Washington University is transforming into the epicenter of presidential politics.   On Sunday, Washington University will host a town hall debate, fielding questions from undecided voters seated nearby. In an added dose of unpredictability, the format allows Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump to move around the state, putting them in unusually close proximity to each other.

Hosting the debate will cost the University approximately $5 million.  University officials believe the investment is well worth it.

“It’s really cool to see the whole student body becoming more politically minded, actually paying attention to things that affect us in everyday life,” said Peter Rosston, Washington University student.

“Ignoring politics while it’s right here where you live, and under your nose it’s impossible to do,” said Washington University student Keona Kalu.  She believes student engagement in this debate will continue to be part of their adult life for many years to go.

washuWashington University student Ezugo Onejeme also welcomes the presidential debate.  He believes it has already brought out more debate on campus among different student groups.

Some students are disappointed third party candidates will not be on the stage Sunday.  That decision is made by the Commission on Presidential Debates.  Candidates must achieve an average of at least 15% support in major polls.  Trump and Clinton are the only candidates to meet that threshold.

“It sends a message to a voter that it only really matters if you’re a republican or a democrat, and you can’t really be anything in between,” said Andrew Eichen, a student and president of a student group called Young Americas for Liberty.  He believes Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson should be included because Johnson will be on the ballot in all 50 states.

In past faceoffs, President George H.W. Bush conspicuously checked his watch. Al Gore got too close to George W. Bush for comfort. President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney had a tense center stage confrontation.

FOX 4’s John Holt will be at Washington University on Sunday for the second Presidential debate. Count on FOX 4 News; our newscasts, the fox4kc app, website and Facebook page for unique coverage and perspective from Washington University.

Watch debate coverage from FOX 4's John Holt, who will be at Washington University.

Watch debate coverage from FOX 4’s John Holt, who will be at Washington University.

Washington University debate auditorium

Washington University debate auditorium