Only saw the last 50 minutes of the town hall debate, but I'd have to say, if there are still any undecided or potentially dissuade-able voters out there, it had to help Donald Trump. Any time you allow a lunatic or a demagogue look like just another actor on the stage, he has already achieved something important.
Shakespeare knew this--"In speech, there is logic." By which he meant, just saying something makes it sound true, unless it is promptly slapped down. Parading across Shakespeare's stages were villains of every description, who the audience could see were deplorable, wicked, sometimes obviously, sometime subtly evil, and it was his genius to make the most nasty villain human, in some ways understandable, or at least recognizable. Ms. Clinton possesses by no such genius.
To pick just one of hundreds of examples--when Donald Trump says Hillary wants to kill all the coal miners' jobs because she hates them and by the way, it's unnecessary because there is such a thing as clean coal. She can reply, "I am the coal miners' friend, not their enemy. And I'd love to embrace 'clean coal' if it were only a reality, but then again, I'd love to eat ice cream and cake and never get fat, but nobody has ever, and likely will, never figure out how to do that and we are no closer to clean coal than we are to body friendly calories. This is just another example of pie in the sky from Donald Trump. When he's not selling fantasy solutions he's dreaming up fantasy hobgoblins."
Or words to that effect.
And to not have a better response to the "deplorables" question is beyond comprehension? Why not simply say, "When a man says all Muslims hate us, that is deplorable. When a crowd cheers that then every last member of that crowd who cheered is equally deplorable. I still believe that. It's not just the grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan who is deplorable, it's every other person in a white sheet."
Why Ms. Clinton fails to prepare that sort of answer effectively is an imponderable. If she loses to Mr. Trump, one can only say, well there is only one person to blame.