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Given that the British weather is currently rapid-cycling through all four seasons on an hourly basis, I’ve unsurprisingly contracted a bug of some kind. I intended to write a lengthy analysis of the debate last Monday, but instead I’ll just offer some brief reaction.

I do not believe that Trump’s performance was nearly as dire as the media is making out. True, it wasn’t great – and yes, he needs to improve significantly before the next contest – but it most certainly was not the ‘meltdown’ or ‘suicide’ described in the liberal press.

Clinton was more polished and prepared, but not more convincing than her opponent. Trump’s answers, though often rambled through snarled lips, were direct and from the hip. Clinton’s responses were soulless, word-perfect, opinion-column sound-bites. I know which form of persuasion I prefer.

Despite this, we in the Trump camp must be honest with ourselves. If The Donald conducts the next two debates in the same manner as he conducted the first, he will lose and lose badly. The week following the encounter at Hofstra has seen Clinton rise several points in national and state polls, whereas, prior to the debate, the gap between the candidates had been steadily narrowing. This is not encouraging and the matter must be seriously addressed by Trump’s advisors.

There are rumours, as yet unsubstantiated, that former UKIP leader Nigel Farage is flying to America to help the Republican nominee in his preparation for the second debate on October 9th. I hope devoutly that this is true. Farage is a quite formidable orator, almost invincible in direct political combat. Trump would do well to heed his counsel.

D, LDN