President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden will be going toe-to-toe in the first presidential debate of the 2020 election season.
Both men will be heading to Cleveland on Tuesday night for the debate, which will be moderated by Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace. The first debate will be held at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio at 8 p.m. CST.
This socially-distanced debate is expected to last around 90 minutes without commercial breaks.
Wallace has released six broad subjects that will be discussed during Tuesday’s debates. The overarching categories include “the Trump and Biden Records,” the Supreme Court, COVID-19, the economy, race and violence in U.S. cities and the integrity of the 2020 election.
According to the Commission on Presidential Debates, the first debate will be divided into six segments of 15 minutes each. Wallace’s six topics will be the focus for the segments. At the beginning of each segment, Wallace will pose a question, and each candidate will have two minutes apiece to respond. After the initial responses, Trump and Biden will be able to respond to each other. Wallace can use the remainder of any session time for more discussion of the topic.
As the contenders head into first debate, Biden is currently leading Trump in many polls. The site FiveThirtyEight, which aggregates polls, has multiple polls showing Biden with a lead. One USC Dornsife poll has Biden with a 51 percent polling percentage and Trump with 43 percent. There are two other UCS Dornsife polls, which show Biden with a 52 percent and a 50 percent percentage and Trump with 42 percent and 42 percent, respectively.
The debate will give both candidates the opportunity to highlight both their perceived strengths and their opponent’s missteps. Trump is likely to bring up his recent Supreme Court nominee announcement and his response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Biden is likely to attack Trump’s handling of the coronavirus crisis. It is likely that Biden will bring up the New York Times’ report on Trump’s income tax payments; the report alleges that, starting in 2000, Trump paid no income tax in 10 of 15 years.
The second debate will be held in a town hall format on Thursday, Oct. 15 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami and the third debate will be held Thursday, Oct. 22 at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. There will also be a vice presidential debate, pitting Vice President Mike Pence against Sen. Kamala Harris, on Wednesday, Oct. 7 at the University of Utah.
Steve Scully of C-SPAN will moderate the second presidential debate, and NBC news host Kristen Welker will take the third debate. Susan Page of USA Today will moderate the vice presidential debate.
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