Democrat Hillary Clinton accused Republican Donald Trump of racism, sexism and tax avoidance on Monday, putting him on the defensive during a debate that a snap poll said boosted her White House chances.
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Trump, a real estate tycoon making his first run for public office, said Clinton's long years of service represented "bad experience" with few results and said she lacked the stamina to serve as commander-in-chief.
Clinton was under pressure to perform well after a bout with pneumonia and a drop in opinion polls, but her long days of preparation appeared to pay off in her highly anticipated first 90-minute standoff with Trump.
Trump, a former reality TV star who eschewed a lot of debate practice, was strong early on but appeared to become repetitive and more undisciplined as the night wore on in front of a televised audience that could have reached upwards of a record 100 million people.
A CNN/ORC snap poll said 62 percent of respondents felt Clinton won and 27 percent believed Trump was the winner.
In signs that investors awarded the debate to Clinton also, Asian shares recovered from an early bout of nerves while the Mexican peso surged on Tuesday. Her chances in the Nov. 8 election improved also on online betting markets.