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What impact do presidential debates have so close to the election?

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton face off Monday night for the first of three debates. (Source: AP) Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton face off Monday night for the first of three debates. (Source: AP)
CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) -

Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump underwent their first one-on-one debate Monday night, but with just more than a month until Election Day, political experts say it's unlikely decided voters are going to change their minds. 

"There are fewer and fewer people these days who are undecided who truly are debating who to vote for," Dr. Gibbs Knotts, a professor and chair of the Political Science Department at the College of Charleston said. 

Knotts says this campaign season is nothing quite like we've seen before. 

"Everything we thought we knew about presidential politics has had to be thrown out a little bit or at least called into question with Donald Trump," he said.

Gibbs says some people watch to see their pick do well and the person they don't like do poorly. He says their performance can be subjective, often depending on the person watching. 

Chairman of the Charleston County Democrats Brady Quirk-Garvin says the debates can fuel participation. 

"This is about energizing volunteers so that people go out and make phone calls and knock on doors for their candidate," Quirk-Garvin said. "I also think it's about convincing that small portion of the electorate who hasn't decided who they are going to vote for, who they should vote for. "

Chairman of the Charleston County GOP Larry Kobrovsky says the debate brought his party together. His party organization hosted a presidential debate watch party on the USS Yorktown at Patriots Point.

"We saw that tonight, there must be 400 people in there, we filled every seat and we have standing room only and that reflects our grassroots enthusiasm," Kobrovsky said.  

The Charleston County Democratic Party did not host an official watch party, opting to watch from various locations.  

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