WATCH: Fox News Digital focus group voters raise concerns about Biden following debate with Trump


Not a single voter who participated in a Fox News Digital focus group said they felt better about President Biden after watching his performance at the CNN Presidential Debate on Thursday.

Democrats, independents and Republicans who gave their real-time reaction to the debate said that former President Trump appeared stronger than Biden when it came to effective communication and the ability to appear like a leader.

“He got off to a horrible start,” a male voter told focus group leader Lee Carter, president of Maslansky and Partners. “At the beginning he couldn’t even put a sentence together at the opening statement.” 

One woman expressed disappointment in the debate, noting that Biden and Trump spent more time attacking each other’s records than discussing the problems facing the country.

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President Biden and former President Trump debated on Thursday night.  (Getty Images)

“I think they’re just battling each other, like, head on and not addressing the real problems. Like, they’re just trying to be on top of each other. It just felt like, I don’t know, a fist fight to me,” she said. 

A man who said he was “okay” with Biden’s performance suggested the president would have been helped if his microphone was closer to his mouth. Biden’s voice appeared raspy during the debate and at times he did not project at the level of his opponent, Trump.

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A Fox News Digital focus group of Republican, Independent and Democratic voters led by Maslansky and Partners President Lee Carter reacted after the debate concluded to what they saw. (Fox News)

But another woman interjected, saying that Biden, as an executive, should be able to project and communicate his points.  

Given that he was one of the earliest, as you mentioned, senators and has been in politics for decades, I don’t think that is an excuse,” she said. 

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A male voter in the Fox News Digital focus group said former President Trump looked more like a leader than President Biden. (Fox News)

Another male voter compared the physical presence of the two candidates and said Trump had an edge over the 81-year-old Biden. 

“Okay, you just take Trump versus Biden on the physical and the ability to communicate: Trump is 78 years old also, but he is communicating as if he was 55 years old, and he’s getting his points across, and he’s acting like a leader,” a male voter said.

At the onset of the discussion, about half of the focus group indicated they had concerns about Trump going into the debate. Voters said they were worried he would not act presidential, or that he would be too “aggressive” in going after Biden. 

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More than half of the focus group later said Trump exceeded their expectations. Several said the debate format, in which a candidate’s microphone was muted when it wasn’t their turn to speak, ultimately helped Trump maintain composure and control.

“I think they meant to help Biden but they ended up helping Trump,” one voter said. 

“Because they shut him up.” 



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