About 700 University of Miami students and residents gathered on Monday night for seemingly one thing: to watch Donald Trump flounder.
“I wanted to witness Donald Trump flop,” said Gloria Nuñez Turkel, a viewing party attendee. “At home I would only have myself to cheer - and my dogs.”
A poll, conducted at the UM Bank United Center’s Fieldhouse, showed that 76 percent of viewing party attendees predicted Hillary Clinton would win.
On debate night, the support was palpable.
The audience cheered for Hillary Clinton during pauses, clapped vigorously and laughed at all her jabs at Trump. Conversely, Trump’s statements received groans and grumbles.
UM students said they hoped Trump would offer concrete policy plans during the first presidential debate.
“Basically, I’m just looking for a concrete answer,” said Sara-Teresa Pelaez, a UM political science freshman.
Students said they wanted Trump to act as professionally as possible.
“I hope they keep the bashing to a limit,” said Miguel Hernandez, a UM public health and political science sophomore.
The vast majority of the college-aged attendees were students in the university’s 2016 Elections course. They received extra credit for attending.
According to Anthony Williams, a special projects manager at Bendixon & Amandi, a polling firm and one of the event’s sponsoring companies, the students’ youth and energy was a main reason to include students in the viewing party. About 300 of the attendees were UM students, while another 400 were friends of Bendixon & Amandi.
“We believe the more people we have together, the better that is for everybody,” Williams said.