“She shouldn't be [under more pressure], but so long as he avoids standing on stage and vomiting on himself, the press will give Trump a glowing review,” said a Nevada Democrat — who, like all respondents, completed the survey anonymously. “Hillary will need a strong performance to demonstrate that she passes and Trump fails the commander-in-chief test.”
“The media and Trump himself have set the bar too low for Trump,” a New Hampshire Democrat added. “Presidents don't get graded on a curve, and candidates in debates shouldn't be either.”
One Ohio Democrat detected a double standard for the first female major-party nominee.
“Hillary Clinton has spent a public lifetime of being held to a strikingly different standard, and this debate will be no exception,” said the Ohio Democrat. “She will have to answer every single question flawlessly, exude gravitas, look presidential, channel Bill's and Barack's oratorical mastery, not raise her voice, not cough, wear an acceptable pantsuit, smile enough, be likable, not laugh and have a good hair day. Donald Trump will just have to show up.”