US presidential nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are set to face off in the third and final presidential debate on Wednesday, scheduled to start at 6 pm local time (0100 GMT) at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas.
The upcoming debate, with Fox News’ Chris Wallace as the moderator, will see the opponents focus on issues relating to immigration, foreign hot spots, economy, Supreme court, debt and entitlements, and how fit each is to become the president of the United States.
In what has been a rollercoaster race to the Oval Office which only gets more dramatic with each passing day, both opponents have largely stayed neck-to-neck up until recently, when major polls showed Trump falling in popularity as new controversies cropped up around him.
An election race ridden with controversies
Trump has divided many with his inflammatory rhetoric on women, immigrants, Muslims, minorities and African-Americans. His plans to build a border wall to keep out Mexicans and ban foreign Muslims temporarily from entering the US stirred a great deal of controversy the world over. However, the recent leaked tapes of Trump making lewd remarks about women, which he dismissed in the second debate as mere "locker room talk", and the allegations of sexual assault brought against him by two women, have left his campaign in turmoil. Trump has even resorted to accusing the elections as being “rigged” and demanding a dope test for Clinton.
Clinton meanwhile has struggled to defend her use of a private email server on which she sent thousands of emails, putting the national security – as her opponents claim – in danger. Controversies have also popped up around the Clinton Foundation and the leaked campaign team emails which allegedly compromised her integrity.
What the polls say
According to a CNN/ORC poll, Clinton has won both the debates held so far, with 62% of the audience rooting for her in the first debate and 57% declaring her the winner in the second. About 50% of men and over 60% of women hailed her the winner of the second debate – which is being touted as the fiercest and ugliest debate in the US election history.
Wednesday’s debate will be one last chance for the candidates to convince the public who out of the two is the fittest to hold the most powerful position in the world, before Election Day on November 8.