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FACT CHECK: Trump And Clinton's Final Presidential Debate

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Live Stream: U.S. Presidential Debate
FACT CHECK: Trump And Clinton's Final Presidential Debate
FACT CHECK: Trump And Clinton's Final Presidential Debate GUEST: Thad Kousser, political science professor, UC San Diego

One midday edition, someday it was Donald Trump's test debate with one major problem. Others are calling it the nail in the coffin of his candidacy. The third and last presidential debate last night had Trump and Clinton exchanging hostile remarks. The subjects covered Supreme Court nominees, immigration, economy and fitness to be president. Right now we have analysis from you see said Billy -- San Diego professor. Thanks for having me. Reporter: one major problem from the Met -- from the debate last night. Trumps response when he was asked if he would accept the results of the election. I will look at it at the time. What I have seen is so bad. First of all the media is so dishonest and so corrupt and the pylon is so amazing, the New York Times wrote an article about it but they don't even care. It is so dishonest their poison the minds of the voters. Unfortunately for them, I think voters are seeing through it. How major is that problem for Donald Trump? This is a problem that he has had for the last week. That is why he keeps being asked this question. He says that there is massive election fraud. Years and to do this before. It was a big statement, the fact that he failed to say he would respect the results. I don't want to minimize this. The tone that he used, it wasn't malicious as much as it was petulant. That took away from the message. When he said, I will get back to you, I will keep you in suspense, he did not sound like Hitler, he sounded like a kid. I think he stepped on his message instead of just coming across as someone who respected it became black as someone who was losing. This could cause lots of seats can't you agree with that? I think what we have seen is a lot of miss steps at the top of the ticket that could open the door to potentially the house swinging and the Senate swinging. There is still a lot of ground the Democrats would need to make up to do that. What we have seen since the access Hollywood interview and Donald Trump's statements about voter fraud is Republicans disowning him. I think that spells bigger problems for him than the party. Moving onto Hillary Clinton's performance. Part of her strategy is to disqualify Trump. In the 1990s I went to Beijing. I said human rights or women's right. He called a former Miss America and eating machine. On the day that I was in the situation room with a some of the Adlon, he was hosting the celebrity apprentice. Many have said that Hillary Clinton needs to make an affirmative case for herself and that of criticizing Trump. Did she manage to do that last night? No, but I don't think she needed to. Campaign promises to go positive. Many people hope to see that happen. Hillary Clinton is looking to not lose this debate and realizes the best defense is a good offense. Talking about what is wrong with Donald Trump was the best way to inoculate herself against the WikiLeaks that continue to come out. There were some issues where she was very clear on where she was. On gun rights, abortion rights, the economy. The more she has a chance to talk about those rather than to have just a few sound bites clipped out of her speeches, the more I think that now that she has what looks like a fairly safe lead, the more she could actually afford to go positive. Reporter: what else stood out for you? This was the debate that we have been asking for the whole time. We want a subset in the discussion of the major issues. I think you saw the moderator force the candidates to talk about the issues. Certainly the first half-hour of this was nothing like the first half-hour that we so of the tabloid debate in debate number 2. We saw where the candidates stand and with all policy differences between them. Both candidates had their best performances. If Donald Trump had appeared this soft best soft spoken, he would have that's in debate number one, he would not have started the downward spiral. Reporter: Hillary Clinton needs to maintain believe that she seems to have in the polls? Are you one of those people who are expecting a landslide for Hillary Clinton? If the elections were held tomorrow it would be a landslide. A lot can happen in three weeks. Hillary Clinton needs to either focus on the electrical best electoral votes. Toshiko with what people say, let's set that's spend some money in Georgia and Missouri and we could call this the humor strategy. She might do that. That would be completely out of character with Hillary Clinton. She is for better or for worse the most disciplined campaigner. We have seen that in all three debates and the course of this campaign. It is part of why she lost to Barack Obama but it is a big part of why she is beating Donald Trump. I think she will stick with the script. She will bring home Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania. I have been spending their speaking with you see political science professor. Thank you for having me.

Presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton debated Wednesday night in Las Vegas — the final time before the November election.

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NPR's politics team, with help from reporters and editors across the newsroom, live-annotated the debate. Portions of the debate transcript with added analysis are underlined in yellow, followed by context and fact checks below.

Find more coverage at nprpolitics.org.

Note: The transcript was updated throughout the debate. While we are working to correct errors, it may contain discrepancies and typographical errors.

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