Don’t cancel the third debate. The nation needs it.

First, polling news: I saw the tight ABC poll first (Clinton 47-43) and I was sad. Now the NBC poll shows double-digit lead (Clinton 48-37), and now I’m happy. Lesson: I need to stop overreacting to each individual poll.
 
I’ve seen too many calls, including the Boston Globe’s, to cancel the third debate. The nation needs the third debate now more than ever, and not because she needs to pile on. She needs to go even higher when Trump goes lower. Clinton needs to use this opportunity to look at the camera directly, address the nation about the need for unity and her commitment to represent everyone and serve everyone. Trump is building an explosive bomb. This is Clinton’s moment to calmly and respectfully defuse that bomb with a closing argument, a positive message and an appeal for legitimacy and peace. But she needs to be careful in not overreacting.
 
Here is one point I might suggest for her:
Clinton needs to remind voters of the 2000 election, when some accused Florida officials of rigging the election. Point 1: The Supreme Court gave the election to Bush in a questionable ruling, but immediately Al Gore conceded, and the country was better off. “Al Gore was a patriot and an honorable man,” or some such tribute. By only implication, Trump’s delegitimizing of the election is not patriotic and not hororable. Point 2: Every vote counts, a reminder of the damage in voting for third parties.

Author: Jed Shugerman

Legal historian at Fordham Law School, teaching Torts, Administrative Law, and Constitutional History. Father of three, married to a Canadian, but I'm not laughing at any of the "So you really can move to Canada!" jokes in 2016. Red Sox and Celtics fan, youth soccer coach. Author of "The People's Courts: Pursuing Judicial Independence in America" (2012) on the rise of judicial elections in America. I'm working on the Emoluments litigation against Trump, as well as a history of prosecutors and American politics, and another project on the origins of "independent agencies" in America.

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