Presidential debate schedule in Biden-Trump 2020 election released; Moderators announced

First debate for Joe Biden, President Trump in Cleveland; Mike Pence, Kamala Harris go head-to-head in Salt Lake City
WASHINGTON -- With the conventions over and November quickly approaching, the 2020 presidential and vice presidential candidates will soon face off on the debate stage.

Incumbent President Donald Trump will confront Democratic nominee former Vice President Joe Biden for the first debate on Tuesday, Sept. 29, in Cleveland, Ohio. Vice President Mike Pence and Biden's running mate Sen. Kamala Harris are scheduled to go head-to-head on Wednesday, Oct. 7, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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Watch President Donald Trump's full speech at the White House for the RNC.



Here's everything we know about the 2020 presidential debates:

When and where are the debates?


All four debates will be 90 minutes in length, will run from 9:00 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT/ 6 p.m. PT until - 10:30 p.m. ET/9:30 p.m. CT/7:30 p.m. PT.

  • Sept. 29: First presidential debate at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio

  • Oct. 7: Vice presidential debate at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah

  • Oct. 15: Second presidential debate at Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida

  • Oct. 22: Third presidential debate at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee


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    Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the fourth day of the Democratic National Convention, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Del.



    Who are the moderators?


    According to the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates, the moderators will be:

  • Chris Wallace of Fox News for the first debate

  • USA Today's Susan Page for the vice presidential debate

  • Steve Scully of C-SPAN for the "town meeting" debate on Oct. 15

  • NBC's Kristen Welker for the debate on Oct. 22


  • What will the debates look like?


    The 2020 debates will follow similar formats used in 2012 and 2016.

    First and third debate


    The first and third presidential debates will be divided into six segments of approximately 15 minutes each on major topics to be selected by the moderator, according to the Commission on Presidential Debates. Those topics will be announced at least one week before each debate.

    Candidates will have two minutes to respond to the moderators' questions.

    The "town hall" debate


    The second presidential debate will look similar to a town hall. Trump and Biden will answer questions from uncommitted Miami-area voters selected under the supervision of Dr. Frank Newport from the global analytics firm Gallup.

    The candidates will have two minutes to answer each question, and the moderator will have an additional minute to facilitate further discussion.

    Vice presidential debate


    The debate will be divided into nine 10-minute segments. Pence and Harris will each have two minutes to respond.

    What are the candidates saying about the debates?



    Trump and Biden have said they will attend the scheduled debates, which are meant to offer voters to opportunity to see the contrast between the candidates on live television.

    "I'm looking forward to debating the president and I'm going to lay out as clearly as I can my vision for the country," Biden said

    There was no immediate comment from the Trump campaign.

    The CPD recently rejected a request from the Trump campaign either to add a fourth debate or move up the three already scheduled. Trump's campaign said 16 states will have started voting by the time of the first debate on Sept. 29.

    How will the coronavirus pandemic impact the debates?


    Due to health and safety protocols amid the COVID-19 pandemic, ticketing will be extremely limited for all four events. Seating will also promote social distancing.

    The CPD said it will follow all CDC, state, county and site health and safety protocols at the four debate sites, with the Cleveland Clinic serving as its health security advisor.

    The University of Notre Dame announced in July it would withdraw from hosting the first presidential debate in September due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. The venue was rescheduled to Case Western Reserve University.

    The second presidential debate was also originally scheduled elsewhere. The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, announced in June that it could not safely hold the debate, so it was moved to the 525,000-square-foot Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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