The second debate was nastier and more miserable then anyone could have imagined. While it was supposed to be a town-hall event, the audience looked like hostages and were mostly forgotten by the candidates. Donald Trump's campaign has been in crisis mode since Friday when a tape emerged where he described sexually assaulting women and hitting on a married woman. Hilary Clinton is ahead and on her way to be president, at this point she just needs to get out of the way and let Trump self destruct.
The opening got right into a discussion of the tape and Trump's comments. He didn't quite apologize but continued the lie that it was just locker room talk. Eventually he got defensive and started to attack Bill Clinton for his affairs and Hilary for defending him. An hour before the debate started he held a press conference where he paraded out women who have accused Bill Clinton in the past of affairs or assault. All of the women have been in the news since Bill Clinton was president, and at this point it just makes Trump look small. Republicans warned him not to go "Nuclear".
Trump did a better job then he did in the first debate, but that is grading on curve. Most of his answers were incoherent and he looked menacing wandering behind Clinton. But after the debacle of the first debate this is as good as it gets for him.
Clinton did well in the first part of the debate. She had optimistic answers about the country and a good rebuttal to Trump's attacks. At some point her answers started to sound defensive and not inspiring. But at this point not being Trump will be enough for her to win.
The debate moderators were tough and tried to get the candidates to answer the questions. Their presence was felt much more then the audience. They tried to get them to stick to the time. Trump seemed to have the most trouble with the format. He attacked the debate moderators for not asking a question about Hilary's emails, even though they did.
In the end the two lines from the debate that will stand out are Trump saying he will jail Clinton if elected and that he doesn't agree with his running mate on Russia. By tomorrow afternoon none of this will probably matter. The reality of the tape from last week still hangs over the campaign. More republican defections are sure to come. By not losing, and giving enough red meat to fire up his base Trump may have done what was necessary to stay in the race but not to win.