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Pittsburgh-Area Voters React To 1st Presidential Debate Of 2020

By: KDKA-TV's Jennifer Borrasso

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- The first presidential debate of 2020 is in the books.

The coronavirus pandemic is impacting the tradition of campaign watch parties. On Tuesday night, many people chose to participate in virtual debate watch parties. There were watch parties at area colleges and political headquarters, but KDKA could not get access because of coronavirus restrictions.

Vice President Mike Pence made a stop just outside of Lancaster.

"Four more years of Donald Trump in the White House. We are going to achieve American energy independence and the best is yet to come in Pennsylvania and America," Pence said.

Before the debate, Democratic Congressman Mike Doyle said he wanted civility from both candidates.

Trump, Biden
(COMBO) This combination of pictures created on September 29, 2020 shows US President Donald Trump (L) and Democratic Presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden squaring off during the first presidential debate at the Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio on September 29, 2020. (Photos by JIM WATSON and SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON,SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

"The American people don't want a mud fight," Rep. Doyle told KDKA's Jennifer Borrasso. "The American people want to know how the next president of the United States is going to help their families, how the president will deal with COVID-19."

Tony McGartland of Murrysville is a staunch Republican who said debates are invaluable. He feels President Trump's style and record will propel him.

"We think once people see, hear that Joe (Biden) doesn't have any record to stand on and the president does, he has a tremendous record to stand on," McGartland said.

"Trump is very honest," he added. "He is not a manipulator of words. He says it like it is."

Anthony Jefferson of Oakland is a Democrat who believes Biden will do a good job.

"He's not an entertainer," Jefferson said. "He is one who can write policy, and he can do things we need to make America what it needs to be, which is great for everyone."

One independent voter told KDKA's Jennifer Borrasso off-camera that debates are important so people can hear from both candidates.

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