Following a questionable performance at the first presidential debate, Republican nominee Donald Trump has said he will consider hitting Democratic rival Hillary Clinton harder in their next head-to-head encounter on 9 October 2016.

During an interview on Fox News, Trump said he "eased up" because he did not want to hurt anyone's feelings. He added that he would have brought up "the many affairs that Bill Clinton had" but held back because the Clintons' daughter Chelsea was in attendance. "I didn't think it was worth the shot," he said. "I didn't think it was nice."

Trump also criticised the debate moderator, NBC's Lester Holt, of being tougher on him than on Clinton. "He didn't ask her about the emails, he didn't ask her about the scandals, he didn't ask her about the Benghazi deal. He didn't ask her about a lot of things he should have asked about. Why? I don't know," he said.

The GOP nominee also complained of issues with his microphone, saying it was "terrible" and crackled, the BBC reported. Trump claimed that the volume on his microphone was lower than his opponent's microphone, blaming the volume for what viewers believed were constant sniffles by Trump.

Meanwhile, Clinton soaked in the positive reviews of her debate performance and took a swipe towards Trump. "The real point is about temperament and fitness and qualification to hold the most important, hardest job in the world, and I think people saw last night some very clear differences between us," Clinton told reporters before flying to North Carolina, the Washington Post reported.

Clinton needed a win during Monday's debate as much, if not more, than her Republican rival. With six weeks until Election Day, general election polls show Clinton's comfortable lead over Trump has severely narrowed.

An LA Times/USC Tracking poll released on Tuesday (27 September) shows Trump ahead by three percentage points, 46% to Clinton's 43%. However, the results reveal a one-point decline for Trump over the last 24 hours.

The second presidential debate is scheduled for 9 October at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri. The town-meeting will be moderated by ABC News'Martha Radiate and CNN's Anderson Cooper. The final debate will then air on 19 October at UNLV in Las Vegas, Nevada and will be moderated by Fox News' Chris Wallace.