The first presidential debate is set to take place on Tuesday. President Donald Trump and Joe Biden will face off for the first time as the two men compete for the presidency. It has been a contentious campaign thus far, and the presidential debate will give the candidates a chance to face each other directly for the first time.
How It Will Work
The first debate will take place in Cleveland, Ohio at 9 pm ET. Chris Wallace of Fox News is moderating. Unlike debates in years past, there will only be one moderator to minimize the number of people on the debate stage due to COVID-19 concerns. We don’t yet know whether there will be an audience, or even whether both candidates will appear in person on stage.
There is a list of topics to discuss and the moderator will give each topic a 15-minute segment. Each candidate will get two minutes to speak at the beginning of each segment. After that, Wallace will dedicate the rest of the allotted time to discussion and debate.
What They’ll Be Discussing
Wallace chose several poignant topics for the first debate. The candidates will lay out their arguments on “The Trump and Biden Records,” “The Supreme Court,” “Covid-19,” “The Economy,” Race and Violence in our Cities,” and “The Integrity of the Election”.
A heated discussion on the Supreme Court is all but inevitable given the explosive debate following Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death last Friday. The economy will likely be the portion of the debate where Trump comes out strongest. It is one of his signature talking points, and it is an area his supporters often cite as the highlight of his presidency. For Biden, his plan to come out strong in this debate is to act as a fact-checker to Trump and keep calm, as he revealed at a recent fundraiser.
Notably, any discussion of climate change is missing from the conversation. Candidates could potentially weave the issue into other conversations, but there is no dedicated time slot for that discussion.
What Could Go Wrong
Neither Trump nor Biden is exactly known for their oratory skills. The press and the people have criticized both men in the past for their gaffes when speaking. It will be an important challenge for both men to avoid a slip that will undoubtedly dominate news cycles surrounding the event.
Many Americans have already decided which candidate gets their vote. However, the debates can be an important deciding factor in swing states and among large groups of voters who, according to polls, could push the election in either direction, like suburban white women.
If you are able, remember to vote! Election Day is November 3.