LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Monday’s night’s showdown between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton was the largest televised debate in U.S. history.

More than 80 million people tuned in.

Everyone has an opinion as to who won and who lost. But the bigger question may be, how much does it really matter?

This year, the normal rules about what attracts voters or turns them off don't seem to apply.

Absentee voting began Monday in Louisville, and early returns indicate lots of interest in the race for the White House.

“Yesterday we voted right around 187 people, which is really, really great for the first day of in-house absentee. That's very promising,” said Jordan Kelch of the Jefferson County Clerk’s office.

Jennie and John Callahan cast their ballots early. Jennie watched Monday night's debate.

“I think this is the most important election, probably, in my lifetime,” she said.

Her husband did not watch.

“I just hate reality TV, and I felt one part of it was like watching the stupid reality shows that I don't like,” John Callahan said.

In many ways, it did seem more reality show than presidential debate, with each candidate playing a different role, and appealing to different audiences.

Clinton was the cool political expert.

“Hillary looked more presidential. Donald's lack of preparation, I think, showed,” said Democratic strategist Bob Gunnell.

Trump was the the fiery intruder.

“It's raw emotion versus raw preparation on policy,” said Republican strategist Scott Jennings.

That's why local experts say it's tough to pick a winner and loser of this first debate.

In this campaign, the normal rules of engagement don't seem to apply.

“He can lose the debate. He can lose all three debates, and still be president of the United States,” Gunnell said.

The ultimate survivor may come down to the mood of the voters.

“The question is, have people decided to that I'm tired of electing people who look the part. I want to elect somebody who's going to scramble this whole thing?” said Jennings.

Jennie Callahan says she's comfortable with her vote, but as for those still undecided.

“I guess they're going to have to decide which candidate is least offensive to them.”

Clinton and Trump will meet again Oct. 9.

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