For many viewers in NC, debate was must-see event

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Triangle reaction to the first presidential debate.

Some viewers tuned in for the substance, others for the suspense.

Officially, Monday night's audience for the first Presidential Debate between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and businessman Donald Trump reached 81.4 million viewers - the most ever for a televised debate - and many of them were undoubtedly from the battleground state of North Carolina.

"I knew it was going to be a show," Raleigh resident Tiffany Wilson told ABC 11. "I was watching Monday Night Football but really, I just had to see it."

Wilson said she switched back and forth between the two programs but finally put down the remote when the candidates addressed the issue of taxes.

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"I noticed when (Trump) mentioned that he was smart for not paying federal income taxes," Wilson explained, referencing a charge Clinton made to Trump about so far not releasing his tax returns.

The back and forth on economic issues resonated with other Triangle voters we spoke with Tuesday.

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Gabe Everhart, a construction manager, said he's most interested in the health of small businesses, and "the ability to really drive economic activity laterally and not just concentrate it off the top."

Everhart thought Trump was mostly on the defensive, but he also noted that Clinton's weaknesses were exposed early when her email controversy entered the conversation.

"I think she could have handled that a little bit better. She stammered a little bit, looked a little uncertain. It's kind of what she's been doing all along."

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politicshillary clinton2016 electiondonald trumppresidential debatepresidential racehofstra debateNorth Carolina
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