No matter how you're voting this year, and whether you're doing it via mail or in-person, it's essential to keep up to date on each of the candidates' platforms. Nov. 3 is way closer than you think, despite how crazy this year has been, which means it's time to get the presidential and vice-presidential debates on your radar. This upcoming election is going to be critically important, and your vote matters more than ever.
Ahead, we broke down who's speaking, how to watch, and when the presidential debates will happen. Get ready to mark your calendar, and we'll see you (at a safe six-feet distance) at the polls!
When are the presidential debates?
All the debates will start at 9:00 p.m. ET and will run for 90 minutes without any commercial breaks. Per the Commission on Presidential Debates, the first and third debates will be six 15-minute segments. Each topic of the segments is selected and announced by the moderators at least one week before the debate. Moderators have yet to be announced for the event, but according to the CPD, they will be revealed early September.
As for the second presidential debate, the format will be more of a town hall meeting, and questions will come from the citizens of the location. Here's the schedule of the three debates:
- Sept. 29 at Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, Ohio)
- Oct. 15 at Adrienne Arsht Center (Miami, Florida)
- Oct. 22 at Belmont University (Nashville, Tennessee)
Donald Trump and Joe Biden, as of now, will both be debating at the three events. The New York Times said Trump was reportedly "discussing with his advisers the possibility of sitting out the general election debates in 2020 because of his misgivings about the commission that oversees them," but the President later cleared up that claim on Twitter.
He wrote, "I look very much forward to debating whoever the lucky person is who stumbles across the finish line in the little watched Do Nothing Democrat Debates."
His campaign also reached out to the CPD in August, asking the CPD to include a fourth debate in the early part of September. His campaign also suggested moving the final October debate to the first week in September as another option. This would be so mail in-voters would be able to watch a couple debates before voting. Trump voiced his concerns on Twitter:
How can voters be sending in Ballots starting, in some cases, one month before the First Presidential Debate. Move the First Debate up. A debate, to me, is a Public Service. Joe Biden and I owe it to the American People!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 6, 2020
The CPD rejected the campaign's request early August and wrote a letter to Trump's campaign saying, "While more people will likely vote by mail in 2020, the debate schedule has been and will be highly publicized. Any voter who wishes to watch one or more debates before voting will be well aware of that opportunity."
Why is there controversy about the debates?
Late August, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said during a press conference she doesn't think the presidential debates should go on this year, citing many reasons such as President Trump will "belittle what the debates are supposed to be about."
"I don't think that there should be any debates," said Pelosi. "I do not think that the president of the United States has comported himself in a way that anybody has any association with truth, evidence, data and facts." She then added, "I wouldn't legitimize a conversation with him nor a debate in terms of the presidency of the United States."
Speaker Pelosi says that she does not think there should be any presidential debates between Pres. Trump and Joe Biden:— CBS News (@CBSNews) August 27, 2020
“I wouldn't legitimize a conversation with [Pres. Trump] nor a debate in terms of the presidency of the United States"https://t.co/XjbN1GG9vz pic.twitter.com/pvH1E8v5mb
The Biden campaign feels differently about the idea, for on the MSNBC show Andrea Mitchell Reports , Biden said he would debate Trump regardless of Pelosi's comments on the matter. "I'm gonna debate him," he said. "I'm gonna be a fact-checker on the floor while I'm debating him." So, uh, this is going to be interesting!
Joe Biden reacts to Speaker Pelosi's suggestion that Biden not "legitimize a conversation with" President Trump by debating him:— MSNBC (@MSNBC) August 27, 2020
"I'm gonna debate him ... I'm gonna be a fact-checker on the floor while I'm debating him." pic.twitter.com/RJr7G10IuC
How can I watch the presidential debates?
If you're like a cable cutter like moi and rely on your Roku to get you from point A to point B, you'll have to check back in later for all the deets on how to stream. Until then, double-check to make sure you're registered to vote or sign up to vote here.
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