Andrew Ripley braved the downpour to head over to St. Pat's Bar and Grill in Manhattan. He wasn't looking to watch the hometown Mets take on the Kansas City Royals. Ripley wanted to figure out which presidential hopeful was worthy of his vote, and he was hoping the GOP debate would provide clarity.
Despite leaning conservative and having strong views on smaller government, he went home just as undecided.
"I don't have a real sense of what the difference is between these people," the 38-year-old software start-up entrepreneur said.
Like Ripley, many of the young professionals who showed up to watch the CNBC-hosted debate were searching for clarity. Some said the problem with the previous two debates was that no candidate really answered questions or revealed their policies — and Wednesday night's debate didn't solve those issues.
Brian, a 22-year-old actuary who just graduated from Harvard, admitted apologetically that he was a Democrat. Still, he had come to watch the debate because he wanted to hear other viewpoints. Also, the friends he was supposed to meet at the bar bailed on him, and he was just too lazy to make the trek back to Brooklyn right away.
Brian wanted to hear the candidates talk about how they planned to tackle college debt. He left disappointed shortly before the end of the debate.
"In terms of politics, it's not been good," one 35-year-old man who asked to remain anonymous said. "In terms of entertainment, it's been great."