Local experts analyze the last debate

Voters still buzzing over Trump's debate bombshell

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump debates Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during the third presidential debate at UNLV in Las Vegas, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. (Mark Ralston/Pool via AP)
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump debates Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during the third presidential debate at UNLV in Las Vegas, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. (Mark Ralston/Pool via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP/WPRI) — Talk about an awkward dinner party.

Rivals Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have arrived and been seated at the annual Al Smith dinner in Manhattan.

But the pair declined to shake hands as they entered the room.

Clinton was introduced first, followed by Trump. The pair are sitting with just one seat between them.

Clinton stayed off the campaign trail Thursday, while Trump held a rally in Ohio.

Trump continues to take a lot of flack for refusing to say Wednesday night if he would accept the outcome of the election. On Thursday afternoon, Trump said he wants to reserve the right to challenge questionable results.

“Donald Trump was very strong at the beginning of the debate. I think as soon as he said that, that became the soundbite for today. In this country, people expect when you lose, you concede the election and you move on,” said Eyewitness News Political Analyst Joe Fleming.

Rhode Island history books have examples of voting irregularities in times past. Fleming said it’s harder to do today.

“You need your driver’s license or some other type of picture ID. So, it’s very difficult to do something like that nowadays in Rhode Island. I think things are a lot better today than they were in the 30s and 40s. You might get an isolated thing where someone tries that, but not to the point where it’s going to turn the election.”

As for whether Trump’s comments on a rigged election could impact turnout, Fleming said “I would think if you’re a Donald Trump supporter, this may motivate you more to go out and vote. And I think that’s what he’s trying to do; motivate his supporters at this time.”

There have been local allegations in the past about irregularities with mail-in ballots. Of course, a presidential election takes place on a much larger scale with millions of votes cast.