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In what is shaping up to be one of the most highly anticipated presidential debates in history, Donald Trump is set to take the stage at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., Monday night, where the Republican presidential nominee will look to build on polling...

5 things Donald Trump needs to do on debate night

In what is shaping up to be one of the most highly anticipated presidential debates in history, Donald Trump is set to take the stage at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., Monday night, where the Republican presidential nominee will look to build on polling...

5 things Donald Trump needs to do on debate night

In what is shaping up to be one of the most highly anticipated presidential debates in history, Donald Trump is set to take the stage at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., Monday night, where the Republican presidential nominee will look to build on polling gains he made earlier this month.

Here are five things Trump will need to do in the first of three general election presidential debates:

1. Meet the presidential threshold

Trump has never been elected to public office, and numerous voters have questioned whether the outspoken Manhattan real estate mogul has the depth and temperament for the job. Trump must use the first debate to demonstrate he has the knowledge and steadiness to make him a plausible president, and must do so in the face of a verbal onslaught by Clinton. The Republican candidate also needs to keep his cool — no viral moments of temper — and avoid a moment like the one at a GOP primary debate in which he displayed ignorance of the term "nuclear triad."

2. Play good defense

The Republican candidate will no doubt be called upon to explain any number of statements or actions. It could be his sudden reversal on "birther-ism," the idea that President Obama was born in another country. It could be questionable spending by the Trump Foundation. It could his alleged ties to Russia. It could be various comments about women and Muslims or his refusal to release tax returns. It could be all of the above. As Clinton and aides accuse him of being an unprincipled liar, Trump's performance could be decided by how he handles these kinds of questions.

3. Stay on the attack

Trump must somehow impeach Clinton's qualifications for the presidency. In seeking his first elected office, Trump will argue that the former first lady, U.S. senator, and secretary of State is the embodiment of a failed political establishment and that he is the true candidate of change. Yet Clinton, a national political figure for more than a quarter-century, also has more knowledge of the issues, and that creates a vulnerability for Trump. The New York businessman plans to argue that Clinton may have experience but has made "bad decisions" throughout her career.

4. Manage a one-on-one debate

During the Republican primaries, Trump shared the debate stage with at least three other GOP rivals. This will be his first one-on-one debate, and he will likely get rougher treatment that he did during some of those GOP encounters. The less populated stage in a 90-minute debate increases the physical and mental demands on both candidates. Trump is going to have to talk for longer stretches of time.

5. Effectively handle the gender dynamic

Trump will be the first major party presidential nominee to debate a female opponent, and that fact alone will influence his strategy and approach. The Republican nominee must try to avoid appearing sexist, which, of course, he hasn't always been successful at during the 2016 campaign. During a 2000 race for a U.S. Senate seat in New York, Clinton rival Rick Lazio crossed the stage to confront her. The move backfired with voters who criticized Lazio for getting into Clinton's personal space. Some Republicans accused Trump of bullying rivals during GOP debates; that will be tougher to do against a single, female rival.

Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.

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