First Duel: 29 September
- Time: 9 pm ET (1 am GMT on 30 September)
- Where: Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio
- Where to Watch: expected to be broadcast on all major networks FOX, ABC, NBC, CBS and through C-SPAN
For the first presidential debate, President Donald Trump and Joe Biden will meet on Tuesday in Cleveland, Ohio, one of key swing states where both candidates are presently going nose-to-nose, according to recent polls.
The candidates’ exchange will be moderated by Fox News host Chris Wallace, who will ask them questions on the following topics: the Trump and Biden records, the Supreme Court, Coronavirus pandemic, protests over race and violence, the economy and integrity of the election.
Each subject will be covered for 15 minutes, with both candidates having two minutes to respond to the question and also an additional time to fend off each other’s remarks.
The contenders are not expected to wear masks during their fight, but they have also ditched a traditional pre-debate handshake to comply with COVID restrictions.
The Cleveland Clinic, which is co-hosting the event with Case Western Reserve University and is helping the debate’s commission with health security preparations, announced that reporters covering the event will have to undergo COVID-19 testing first.
According to a report on NBC News, Trump had not had any mock sessions to practise his debating skills, as he apparently believes that being good in caustic responses is not something you can really train for. And Trump apparently thinks he does not have much to learn.
Second Debate: 15 October
- Time: 9 pm ET (1 am GMT on 16 October)
- Where: Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida
- Where to Watch: expected to be broadcasted through C-SPAN, TBD
The second televised debate will take place in Florida, another key election battleground that has a large population of Latino voters. The polls show that numbers of support for two candidates there are rather similar, with no clear lead so far.
The debate will be moderated by Steve Scully, C-SPAN Networks senior executive producer and political editor. However, unlike the first meeting, it will have rather a town-hall format, with questions being asked by residents in South Florida who identify themselves as undecided voters chosen under the supervision of Dr. Frank Newport, a senior scientist from the Gallup consulting group.
Again, both Trump and Biden will have two minutes to respond to each question, with an additional minute given for the moderator “to facilitate further discussion”.
The topics for this debate have not yet been announced.
Last Televised Battle: 22 October
- Time: 9 pm ET (1 am GMT on 23 October)
- Where: Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee
- Where to Watch: expected to be broadcasted on NBC News, MSNBC and through C-SPAN
The last face-to-face meeting between the candidates will take place only two weeks before the main clash on 3 November.
The last televised debate between the two presidential contenders will be moderated by NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker. It will also be divided into six sections of 15 minutes each, devoted to different topics that will be announced a week ahead of the debate.
Tennessee voters have traditionally sided with candidates from the Republican party. In 2016, they chose Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton with a 60.72% majority. This year, according to the most recent polls, Trump is also outperforming his Democratic rival in the state.
Apart from presidential debates, US Vice-President Mike Pence and Joe Biden's running mate, Democratic senator Kamala Harris, will meet on 7 October in a televised discussion that will be hosted by The University of Utah in Salt Lake City. The vice-presidential debate will be moderated by USA Today Washington bureau chief Susan Page, who will ask each candidate a question to which they will have two minutes to respond. The whole debate is expected to be divided into nine sections, 10 minutes each, and last for around an hour and a half as a whole. The topics will also be announced a week before their broadcasted meeting.