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Valley viewers tune in to final presidential debate: ‘I don’t think anybody’s changed their minds’

While some valley Republicans and Democrats say the second and final presidential debate was substantive on the issues, and more cordial, too – at this stage in the game, it may be too late to sway most.

At Palm Canyon Roadhouse in downtown Palm Springs Thursday night, a group of valley Trump supporters came together to watch one of the president's and former vice president's last opportunities to win over votes.

"I think they're both doing a good job actually," said Greg Rivers, owner of the restaurant. "So far they're both doing a good job up there."

Waving flags and cheering sporadically, supporters of the president said he's delivered on his promises from four years ago.

"He did promote jobs – he's brought jobs, he has started the wall, he had our economy going," Mya Graves said.

"I thought Donald Trump seemed to be showing some restraint," said Elle Kurpiewski, a Biden supporter. She said while the debate started off strong, there were shocking moments from the president, like on the separation of children from their parents at the U.S.–Mexico border.

"Joe biden said, '545 children don't know where their parents are,' and (Trump) said 'Good!' -- that literally took my breath away," Kurpiewski said.

She was impressed by Biden's unifying answer to what he'd say on Inauguration Day. "His first sentence was, 'I'm an American president. I'm the president for all people,'" Kurpiewski said.

She added that valley democrats didn't host a watch party because it isn't safe as coronavirus continues to spread: "We are fully aware of the fact that the numbers in Riverside County have gone up again. People are dying."

As Riverside County regresses back into the 'purple' tier, Palm Canyon Roadhouse patrons were concerned about indoor dining being shut down again.

"We are spraying everything with sanitizer, we're doing the right thing, we're doing everything we're supposed to be doing yet they keep opening us and closing us and shutting us down," said Orie Cipollaro.

But with hundreds of thousands of Riverside County voters already casting ballots, most people know who they plan to vote for, or already have.

"I don't think anybody's changed their minds based on this debate tonight," Kurpiewski said.

"My mind was made up several months ago," Cipollaro said.

Win or lose – people said they're excited for the election to inch closer. "I hope the vote goes my way," Rivers said. "Whichever way it goes, we're all going to have fun with it –I'ill be glad when it's all over."

Less than 12 days remain for ballots to be cast.

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Jake Ingrassia

Joining News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 as a reporter, Jake is excited to be launching his broadcasting career here in the desert. Learn more about Jake here.


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