Trump, Biden face-off in first US 2020 Presidential Debate - here’s all you need to know

President Donald Trump and his main challenger, former vice president, Joe Biden, will be having a face-off in their first 2020 US presidential election debate on Tuesday night.

The debate, which will be held at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, is expected to last the length of a football match — 90 minutes. Unlike soccer, there will be no commercial breaks.
The Trump-Biden face-off will start at 9pm Eastern Time in the US on Tuesday. This is the same as 2am on Wednesday in Nigeria. It would run through 3:30am Nigerian time.

You can watch the debate on major American TV channels or via the YouTube channel of a non-profit bipartisan cable channel, C-SPAN.

The debate will be moderated by Chris Wallace, a Fox News anchor with over 50 years of experience around the political reporting space.

Since 2003, Wallace has been the host of Fox News on Sunday, and has been praised for his interviews with Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin, and most recently, Donald Trump.

The 72-year-old moderated the final debate between Trump and Hilary Clinton during the 2016 presidential debates cycle. He became the first Fox News journalist to moderate a presidential debate.

Wallace will also be the first Fox News journalist to moderate two presidential debates

Wallace has independently hand-picked six issues that would be discussed for 15 minutes each. They are:
  • Trump and Biden’s records as president and vice-president.
  • COVID-19.
  • The supreme court.
  • The economy.
  • Race and violence in US cities.
  • The integrity of US elections.
As a result of COVID-19, there will be no handshakes at Tuesday’s debate.

Biden and Trump hold individual records for the most-watched debates in the history of the United States. In the first Trump-Clinton debate of 2016, the US recorded the largest viewing audience of any televised debate in the country’s history.

About 84 million people saw the debate.

In 2008, Biden also broke a record when his vice-presidential debate became the first one in US history to enjoy more viewership than the actual presidential debate between Barack Obama and John McCain.

Biden debated Sarah Palin in a face-off seen by nearly 70 million people. The Obama-McCain debate had less than 64 million viewers at its peak.

The Trump-Clinton first debate has been the most-watched in US history

Most presidential debates are hosted by universities in battleground states. These universities are said to put in millions of dollars to secure a debate.

Mckinney, who has studied presidential debates since the 1980s, said the debates bring attention to the universities.

Research in the US has shown that 90 to 95 percent of all debate viewers have decided before the debate, and do not change their minds.

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