Voters may not have realized it and neither did my colleagues in the campaign cognoscenti. But last Thursday night, we started out watching a couple of ho-hum presidential candidate town hall events — and ended up witnessing a de facto presidential debate that may have decided the 2020 election.
Those so-called dueling town hall events came about because of a bizarre tag-teaming of two of America’s most famous news-making peacocks: President Donald Trump and NBC News. After Trump refused to participate in a virtual second debate with Democrat Joe Biden (candidates in separate rooms in the name of COVID-19 safety), NBC shamefully agreed to sponsor a town hall that would run simultaneously with ABC’s Biden town hall Thursday night.
But it all turned out to become something far more significant than any of us expected. Because what Americans saw that night may well have helped voters who were undecided or unsure make up their minds.