Here’s what to know about the upcoming presidential, vice presidential debates

Here’s what to know about the upcoming presidential, vice presidential debates
Posted at 8:54 AM, Sep 30, 2020

The first presidential debate of the 2020 election is behind us, but we still have two more coming up before Nov. 3, as well as a vice presidential debate.

The single vice presidential debate

The next debate will be between the running mates, Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris. The candidates for vice president will square off on Oct. 7 at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

The debate will be moderated by Susan Page, the Chief of USA Today’s Washington Bureau.

The event will be divided into nine segments, with about 10 minutes being spent on each. Page will ask an opening question, after which Pence and Harris will have two minutes to respond. Page will use the balance of the time in the segment for a deeper discussion of the topic.

The second presidential debate

The next time President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden will face off will be on Oct. 15 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida.

The debate will be a town meeting-style event, moderated by Steve Scully, Senior Executive Producer and Political Editor at C-SPAN.

The debate’s questions will be posed by citizens of the South Florida area. The candidates will have two minutes to respond to each question and there will be an additional minute for the moderator to facilitate further discussion.

The town meeting participants will be uncommitted voters selected under the supervision of Dr. Frank Newport, Senior Scientist at Gallup.

The third presidential debate

The third and final presidential debate of this cycle will be held just days before Election Day on Oct. 22.

The event is set to take place at Belmont University in Nashville Tennessee and will be moderated by Kristen Welker, White House Correspondent for NBC News and weekend co-anchor of the Today Show.

The format of this debate will be identical to the first, divided into six segments with about 15 minutes dedicated to major topics selected by the moderator. Welker will open each segment with a question and each candidate will have two minutes to respond. Trump and Biden will then have an opportunity to respond to each other.

Changes to upcoming debates

The day after the first debate, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced that there will be changes made “to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues” at future debates this election season.

"Last night’s debate made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues," the commission said in a statement. "The CPD will be carefully considering the changes that it will adopt and will announce those measures shortly."

The commission also said it's grateful to Chris Wallace for the "professionalism and skill" he brought to first debate, and they intend to ensure that additional tools to maintain order are in place for the remaining debates.