After the second debate, these 5 voters changed their minds. They told us why.

In the second presidential debate — held less than 48 hours after the release of a bombshell tape where Donald Trump describes sexually assaulting women as well as the release of a new cache of Clinton campaign emails by Wikileaks — the candidates outlined two very different visions of a future America.

Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Trump defended his taped remarks from 2005 as "locker room talk," while calling on Muslim Americans to report suspected terrorists in their communities and vowing to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Clinton's handling of her state department email and throw her in jail. Clinton promised to expand Obamacare to make health care more widely accessible and affordable and establish a no-fly zone in Syria, while deflecting questions about taking different positions in public and private by citing Abraham Lincoln.  


Two polls taken immediately post-debate showed a Clinton victory, while a focus group panel gave the edge to Trump.

We asked Upworthy's social media followers if last night's debate changed their mind. Most said it didn't. Some were convinced to pull the lever for a different candidate — and for several, it was not one of the two on the debate stage.

Here's what they said — who they were voting for, who they're voting for now, and why.

Interviews have been edited and condensed for clarity.

Tara Donna, tax office manager, Arizona

Was voting for: Jill Stein

Now voting for: Hillary Clinton

Jill Stein photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images; Hillary Clinton photo by Rick Wilking/AFP/Getty Images.

Why she was holding out for a third party: "I was a die hard Bernie supporter in the 'Never Hillary' group. I was leaning towards Jill Stein until her stunt at the DAPL [Dakota Access Pipeline]. I love that Jill actually wooed the Bernie folks. I feel like Hillary expects us to fall in line because Bernie has asked us to and that upsets me. For the record I'm against the DAPL, but you can't graffiti property. As a presidential candidate there should be a modicum of decency and decorum."

What she thought of Trump's debate performance: "I thought Trump was a disaster. He looked angry and hurt. His response to the leaked tape said it all. The official apology he made, which was clearly written by somebody else, was trampled on. He reverted to 'locker room banter,' which is talking about sexual assault."

How Clinton impressed, and didn't impress, her: "Hillary was poised, but angry at times. I feel she needs to answer for her treatment of Bill's women. Bill's behavior shouldn't be counted against her, but she destroyed those women and needs to answer for it."

What she plans to do now: "I'm voting for Hillary after last night. I'm not happy about it. I'd love to follow Iceland's footsteps, kick out the government and rewrite the Constitution."

Kaden Meeks, college student, West Virginia

Was voting for: Didn't plan to vote

Now voting for: Donald Trump

Photos by Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images.

Who he backed initially: "Trump — mostly because I consider myself a Republican and I agree with a lot of his ideas, even some of the more radical ones. I liked his immigration ideas, I liked that he was straightforward and I liked that he had made questionable decisions in his life to get where he is now. I always have looked at the presidential position as a decision-making job, and I think that Trump would be bold enough to make controversial decisions rather than putting them off as the issues get worse."

How Trump temporarily lost his vote: "I had problems [with] the comments about his daughter. I don't know how any man could agree that his daughter is a 'piece of ass' or refer to her body shape as beautiful or give other men information on his daughter's breasts. I think that just shows how truly narcissistic and gross he really is. Any human with kids generally loves, protects them and is proud of their offspring, but Donald Trump seems to use his daughter as a credential. Her physical appearance is used as a weapon, and to me, that is just too far."

How the debate, and its aftermath, convinced him to come back around: "I actually watched a video of him apologizing for what he had said, and then I saw another video of a room full of independent voters, and the vast majority said that Trump had gained their vote. This was shocking to me considering it hadn't happened so far, and even CNN said he had 'exceeded expectations,' so I just knew he was starting to get a feel for what he was doing and maturing as a politician."

"Like I said, I always have liked his ideas, his demeanor is the issue, and through watching those things, I realize he was capable of having a suitable demeanor."

Patricia Billingsley, retired state employee, Oklahoma

Was voting for: Undecided

Now voting for: Gary Johnson

Donald Trump photo by Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images; Gary Johnson photo by Molly Riley/AFP/Getty Images.

Her feelings about Clinton, in four words: "Most knowledgeable, least ethical."

Her feelings about Trump, in three words: "Narcissistic, erratic, lazy."

What she thought of Trump last night: "Aggressive. Defends own sleaze by pointing out others' bad behavior."

What she thought of Clinton last night: "Ignores questions/statements she does not want to hear, repeats talking points."

What she'd like to see in the third debate: "Wish Johnson [was] in debates to compare in person, not just on what I read and hear."

Jessica Medina, web designer, Florida

Was voting for: Hillary Clinton

Now voting for: Undecided

Hillary Clinton photo by Tasos Katopodis/AFP/Getty Images; Gary Johnson photo by Bill McCay/SiriusXM.

How she planned to vote before last night: "I've never liked either choice, but Clinton is certainly the lesser of two evils in my eyes. After the last debate I was left thinking 'oh okay, I can do this...' This one kind of turned it back and made me feel uneasy again."

Why she felt this debate was different: "The moderators certainly appeared biased in my opinion. It's no secret that Anderson Cooper hates Trump's guts, but I felt like they were certainly professional. And I agreed with everything they called him out on — I truly appreciated the fact that they didn't let him get way with his diversion tactics.  But it set up Hillary for an advantage, which automatically had me raising an eyebrow."

What about Clinton's performance turned her off: "She had so much prepared for this debate, and that preparedness left me feeling a disconnect. I'm sure she has a sincerity about her in person — everyone says that her strength is listening and making people feel heard — but in this particular format, I don't think it translated well across the TV to the viewers at home."

How she plans to vote now: "It will depend on how she performs in the next debate, and I'll be doing a lot more research to see if a vote for Johnson is really just throwing a vote away (or, God forbid, dividing the vote and letting Trump take it). For Trump, nothing could ever convince me to vote for him."

How Clinton could win her back: "I would like to see more authenticity. We know she's smarter and more experienced than Trump. We know she's prepared to counter his arguments. So I would like to see her just have a conversation instead of spewing rhetoric that she has decided upon beforehand. I would like to be able to trust her."

Denise Smith, former museum programs manager, Virginia

Was voting for: Write-in vote

Now voting for: Hillary Clinton

Bernie Sanders photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images; Hillary Clinton photo by Tasos Katopodis/AFP/Getty Images.

How she's voted in the past: "My first vote was for Jimmy Carter. But I also voted for Ronald Reagan and Daddy Bush … once. I was a Reagan Democrat, I voted for him the first time because he spoke of a flat tax to cover everyone. We went bankrupt during his presidency, and I would not piss on him if he was on fire after that! Daddy Bush spoke about fair trade and jobs on a global market and I voted for that. Got fooled again."

"I actually voted for Ross Perot against Bill Clinton — get this — because my husband fussed at me and said he didn’t want my vote canceling his out. I was stupid in love and never did it again."

Why she was uncommitted: "I was a Bernie supporter to begin with. I was truly disgusted by what happened that knocked him out of the race. I think he had a better chance than Hillary at winning this election, because after 30 years of dirt about her, the rumors, [and] the scandals, I was skeptical of her in office. Plus, though he endorses her now, Bernie ran a good campaign against her."

What convinced her to come off the fence: "I was seriously considering just throwing my vote away. I can’t endorse Johnson or Stein after looking at their platforms. I was thinking of writing in Bernie’s name or, hell, even Lindsey Graham for president but after this week’s tape on his 'locker room' talk and then Hillary Clinton's performance tonight, I’m solidly for Clinton."

Why she could never, ever vote for Trump: "Trump scares me — the thought of him as president. After tonight I know I can’t throw my vote away. Hillary tonight showed me a much better candidate for president. Trump needs a civics lesson on how Congress works. [He] blamed her too much for things no one person can control and if he thinks senators and presidents have that much power, he’s nuts. He’s going to prosecute her above our judicial system? That’s dictator talk."

Deadlines to register to vote in most states are closing fast! Many have already passed, some are coming up in the next few days. If you still haven't put your name on the rolls, this tool can help you get there. And if you have registered, here's how you can find your polling place.  

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Judy Vaughan has spent most of her life helping other women, first as the director of House of Ruth, a safe haven for homeless families in East Los Angeles, and later as the Project Coordinator for Women for Guatemala, a solidarity organization committed to raising awareness about human rights abuses.

But in 1996, she decided to take things a step further. A house became available in the mid-Wilshire area of Los Angeles and she was offered the opportunity to use it to help other women and children. So, in partnership with a group of 13 people who she knew from her years of activism, she decided to make it a transitional residence program for homeless women and their children. They called the program Alexandria House.

"I had learned from House of Ruth that families who are homeless are often isolated from the surrounding community," Judy says. "So we decided that as part of our mission, we would also be a neighborhood center and offer a number of resources and programs, including an after-school program and ESL classes."

She also decided that, unlike many other shelters in Los Angeles, she would accept mothers with their teenage boys.

"There are very few in Los Angeles [that do] due to what are considered liability issues," Judy explains. "Given the fact that there are (conservatively) 56,000 homeless people and only about 11,000 shelter beds on any one night, agencies can be selective on who they take."

Their Board of Directors had already determined that they should take families that would have difficulties finding a place. Some of these challenges include families with more than two children, immigrant families without legal documents, moms who are pregnant with other small children, families with a member who has a disability [and] families with service dogs.

"Being separated from your son or sons, especially in the early teen years, just adds to the stress that moms who are unhoused are already experiencing," Judy says.

"We were determined to offer women with teenage boys another choice."

Courtesy of Judy Vaughan

Alexandria House also doesn't kick boys out when they turn 18. For example, Judy says they currently have a mom with two daughters (21 and 2) and a son who just turned 18. The family had struggled to find a shelter that would take them all together, and once they found Alexandria House, they worried the boy would be kicked out on his 18th birthday. But, says Judy, "we were not going to ask him to leave because of his age."

Homelessness is a big issue in Los Angeles. "[It] is considered the homeless capital of the United States," Judy says. "The numbers have not changed significantly since 1984 when I was working at the House of Ruth." The COVID-19 pandemic has only compounded the problem. According to Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), over 66,000 people in the greater Los Angeles area were experiencing homelessness in 2020, representing a rise of 12.7% compared with the year before.

Each woman who comes to Alexandria House has her own unique story, but some common reasons for ending up homeless include fleeing from a domestic violence or human trafficking situation, aging out of foster care and having no place to go, being priced out of an apartment, losing a job, or experiencing a family emergency with no 'cushion' to pay the rent.

"Homelessness is not a definition; it is a situation that a person finds themselves in, and in fact, it can happen to almost anyone. There are many practices and policies that make it almost impossible to break out of poverty and move out of homelessness."

And that's why Alexandria House exists: to help them move out of it. How long that takes depends on the woman, but according to Judy, families stay an average of 10 months. During that time, the women meet with support staff to identify needs and goals and put a plan of action in place.

A number of services are provided, including free childcare, programs and mentoring for school-age children, free mental health counseling, financial literacy classes and a savings program. They have also started Step Up Sisterhood LA, an entrepreneurial program to support women's dreams of starting their own businesses. "We serve as a support system for as long as a family would like," Judy says, even after they have moved on.

And so far, the program is a resounding success.

92 percent of the 200 families who stayed at Alexandria House have found financial stability and permanent housing — not becoming homeless again.

Since founding Alexandria House 25 years ago, Judy has never lost sight of her mission to join with others and create a vision of a more just society and community. That is why she is one of Tory Burch's Empowered Women this year — and the donation she receives as a nominee will go to Alexandria House and will help grow the new Start-up Sisterhood LA program.

"Alexandria House is such an important part of my life," says Judy. "It has been amazing to watch the children grow up and the moms recreate their lives for themselves and for their families. I have witnessed resiliency, courage, and heroic acts of generosity."

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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2020 was difficult (to say the least). The year was full of life changes, losses, and lessons as we learned to navigate the "new normal." You may have questions about what the changes and challenges of 2020 mean for your taxes. That's where TurboTax Live comes in, making it easy to connect with real tax experts to help with your taxes – or even do them for you, start to finish.

Not only has TurboTax Live helped millions of people get their taxes done right, but this year they've also celebrated people who uplifted their communities during a difficult time by surprising them with "little lifts" to help out even more.

Here are a few of their stories:


Julz, hairdresser and salon owner

"As a hairdresser and salon owner, 2020 was extremely challenging," says Julz. "Being a hairdresser has historically been a recession-proof industry, but we've never faced global shut down due to health risk, or pandemic, not in my lifetime. And for the first time, hairdressers didn't have job security."

Julz had to shut down her salon and go on unemployment benefits for the first time. She also had to figure out how she was going to support herself, her staff and her business during this difficult time. But many other beauty industry professionals didn't have access to the resources they needed, so Julz decided to help.

"My business partner and I began teaching basic financial literacy to other beauty industry professionals," she says. "Transitioning our business from behind the chair to an online academy was a challenge we tackled head-on so that we could move hairdressers into this new space of education, and create a more accessible curriculum to better serve our industry.

Julz connected with a TurboTax Live expert who helped her understand how unemployment affected her taxes and gave her guidance on filing quarterly estimated taxes for her small business. "I was terrified to sit at a computer and tackle this mess of receipts," Julz says, so "it was great to have some virtual handholding to walk me through each question."

In addition to giving Julz the personalized tax advice she needed, TurboTax Live surprised her with a "little lift" that empowered her to help even more beauty professionals. "When my tax expert Diana surprised me with a little lift, I was moved to tears," says Julz. "With that little lift, I was able to establish a scholarship fund to help get other hairdressers the education they deserve."


Alana, new mom

Alana welcomed her first child in 2020. "I think my biggest challenge was figuring out how to be a mom, with no guidance," she says. "My original plan was to have my mom by my side, teaching me the ropes, but because of COVID, she wasn't able to come out here."

She was also without a job for most of 2020 and struggled to find something new.

So, Alana took it as a sign: she decided to launch her own business so she could support her new baby, and that's exactly what she did. She started a feel-good company that specializes in creating affirmation card decks — and she's currently in the process of starting a second, video-editing business.

TurboTax Live answered Alana's questions about her taxes and gave her some much-needed advice as she prepared to launch her businesses. Thanks to their "little lift," they provided her with a little emotional support too.

"I got my mom a plane ticket to finally [have her] meet [my daughter] for her first birthday," Alana says. "I was also able to get a new computer," which helped her invest in her new business and work on her video editing skills. "It's helped my family and me so much," she says.


Michael, science teacher

When schools shut down across the country last year, Michael had to learn how to adapt to a virtual classroom.

"As a teacher, I had to completely revamp everything," he says, so that he could keep his students engaged while teaching online. "At the beginning, it was a nightmare because I had no idea. I had to go from A-Z within a couple of weeks."

Michael's TurboTax Live expert answered his questions about how working from home affected his taxes and helped him uncover surprising tax deductions. To top it all off, his expert surprised him with brand new science equipment and supplies, which allowed him to create an entire line of classes on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. "Now I can truly potentially reach millions of children with my lessons," he says. "I would never have taken that leap if not for the little lift from TurboTax Live."



Ricky, motivational youth speaker

As a motivational speaker, Ricky was used to doing his job in person, but, he says, "when COVID-19 hit, it altered my ability to travel and visit schools in person [because] schools moved to fully virtual or hybrid models."

He knew he had to pivot — so he began offering small virtual group workshops for student leadership groups at middle and high schools.

"This allowed me to work with student leaders to plan how they would continue making a positive impact on their school community," he says. He wasn't sure how being remote would affect his taxes, but TurboTax Live Self-Employed gave him the advice and answers that he needed to keep more money in his pocket at tax time — and the little lift he received from them has helped him serve even more students.

"[It] has been a major blessing," he says "There will be multiple schools and student groups from across the country that I can hold leadership workshops with to empower them with the tools to be inspirational leaders in their school, community, and world."

Plus, he says, it was great knowing he had an expert to help him figure out how being remote affected his taxes. "I felt confident and assured in the process of filing my taxes knowing I had an expert working with me, says Ricky. "There were things my expert knew that I would not have considered when filing on my own."

Filing your taxes doesn't have to be intimidating, especially after a year like 2020. TurboTax Live experts can give you the "little lift" you need to get your taxes done. File with the help of an expert or let an expert file for you! Go to TurboTax Live to get started.