Trump’s conduct — interrupting frequently, arguing with the moderator and making highly personalized attacks on his Democratic opponent Joe BidenJoe BidenPrivacy, civil rights groups demand transparency from Amazon on election data breaches Facebook takes down Trump campaign ads tying refugees to coronavirus Trump crowd chants 'lock her up' about Omar as president warns of refugees in Minnesota MORE — was widely criticized as boorish.
Even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP senators pan debate: 'S---show,' 'awful,' 'embarrassment' 'One more serious try' on COVID-19 relief yields progress but no deal The Hill's Campaign Report: Debate fallout l Trump clarifies remarks on Proud Boys l Down to the wire in South Carolina MORE (R-Ky.) implicitly rebuked Trump for his failure to repudiate the far-right Proud Boys group.
Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottGOP senators pan debate: 'S---show,' 'awful,' 'embarrassment' The Hill's Campaign Report: Debate fallout l Trump clarifies remarks on Proud Boys l Down to the wire in South Carolina Trump says Proud Boys should 'stand down' after backlash to debate comments MORE (S.C.), who had urged Trump to “correct” remarks calling for the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by.”.
Responding to the general criticism of his debate comments, Trump on Wednesday said the Proud Boys should "stand down" and claimed, "I don't know who the Proud Boys are.".
The danger for Trump may be that his abrasive personality — seen, particularly by heartland conservative voters, as a bracing blast of anti-establishment air in 2016 — has worn thin.
A Quinnipiac University poll of South Carolina released Wednesday put Trump and Biden in a de facto dead heat in the state, with Trump at 48 percent support among likely voters and Biden at 47 percent.
Four years ago, Trump defeated Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump crowd chants 'lock her up' about Omar as president warns of refugees in Minnesota Democrats say Biden survived brutal debate — and that's enough Comey defends FBI Russia probe from GOP criticism MORE in South Carolina by 14 points.
Disaffected Republicans argue that no single storm has battered Trump.
Then-President Obama was perceived to have been too passive in his first encounter with GOP nominee Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyGOP senators pan debate: 'S---show,' 'awful,' 'embarrassment' Romney, Murphy 'extremely concerned' about threats to withdraw from US Embassy in Baghdad Schumer rips Trump, GOP over debate: 'How are you not embarrassed?' MORE in 2012 and was much more aggressive thereafter.
In a tweet complaining about Fox News on Wednesday, Trump pledged, “We will win anyway!!!”
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