How to Watch the First Biden/Trump Presidential Debate


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Tomorrow night, Donald Trump and Joe Biden will face off in Cleveland during the first presidential debate of the 2020 election season. Whether you’re watching purely for the spectacle or are somehow still unsure who will get your vote, the debate will likely make for an unusual 90 minutes of television at the very least. Here’s what you need to know about the debate, and how to watch it live.

What to know about the first presidential debate

The first presidential debate between Trump and Biden will take place tomorrow, Tuesday, September 29, from 9-10:30 p.m. ET at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Chris Wallace, the anchor of Fox News Sunday will serve as moderator. Wallace has selected the following six topics, which will be addressed for approximately 15 minutes each, NPR reports:

  • Trump’s and Biden’s records
  • The Supreme Court
  • COVID-19
  • The economy
  • Race and violence in U.S. cities
  • The integrity of the election

What is and isn’t included in these topics has already caused controversy: 36 Democratic senators signed a letter requesting that climate change be added to the debate agenda, according to NPR. Others have expressed concern over grouping race and violence together, noting that doing so conflates the issues.

And given Trump’s recent remarks indicating that he would not commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the election, the final portion of the debate on the integrity of the election is likely to be… interesting, to say the least.

How to watch the first presidential debate live

Watching the debate should be pretty straightforward, even for those without cable. It will be aired live on most major networks and cable news channels, including ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and C-SPAN. You can also stream the debate live on YouTube, or listen or watch on NPR.

When are the upcoming debates?

We already have the full debate schedule for this campaign season, so you can mark your calendars now if you plan on following along. Here is the timing for the second and third presidential debates, and the vice presidential debate, courtesy of CNET:

Vice presidential debate

  • Date: Wednesday, Oct. 7
  • Location: University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Time: 9-10:30 p.m. ET (6-7:30 p.m. PT)
  • Moderator: Susan Page, USA Today Washington Bureau chief

Second presidential debate

  • Date: Thursday, Oct. 15
  • Location: Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida
  • Time: 9-10:30 p.m. ET (6-7:30 p.m. PT)
  • Moderator: Steve Scully, political editor of C-SPAN

Third presidential debate

  • Date: Thursday, Oct. 22
  • Location: Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Time: 9-10:30 p.m. ET (6-7:30 p.m. PT)
  • Moderator: Kristen Welker, NBC News White House correspondent



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