With the debates only a month away, here’s what you need to know.
Over the last few days we’ve been getting asked the same question.
“What’s with the presidential debates?”
Now this comes in a variety of ways ranging from “is Donald Trump going to actually be attending the debates” to the most popular, “when are they actually taking place?” Considering we’ve been getting a ton of questions regarding the upcoming presidential debates, we decided to give a general overview considering they’re about a month away. Don’t say we never did anything for you!
The Debate Schedule
September 26, 2016 (Monday): The First Presidential Debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York
October 9, 2016 (Sunday): The Second Presidential Debate at Washington University in St. Louis, MO (Important Note: This debate is a town hall format. That means the candidates will field their questions from a roomful of undecided voters. Think bombardment, but instead of pegging the candidates with rubber balls, it’s public policy questions.)
October 19, 2016 (Wednesday): The Third Presidential Debate at University of Nevada in Las Vegas, Nevada.
And for those who can’t get enough debates…
October 4, 2016 (Tuesday): Vice Presidential Debate at Longwood University (Farmville, Virginia)
So Who’s Debatin’?
Well, Donald Trump (the GOP Nominee) and Hillary Clinton (the Democratic Nominee) will obviously be there. The bigger question is whether any of the 3rd party candidates will be invited to the debates.
The Commission on Presidential Debates – which is an independent body not tied to any political party – decides who they will invite based on the polling average of five news organizations (NBC/Wall Street Journal, ABC/Washington Post, CNN/Opinion Research Corp, CBS News/New York Times, and Fox News). If a 3rd party candidate is going to be invited to this year’s debates, they will have to break the 15% threshold in the polling average. Just to give you some historical context, Ross Perot was the last 3rd party candidate to be invited to a presidential debate and that was back in 1992!
So yeah… 3rd party candidates don’t get invited to presidential debates very often.
As of right now both Jill Stein (Green Party) and Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party) wouldn’t qualify for the upcoming presidential debates. But considering the historically low favorability numbers of both Clinton and Trump, it wouldn’t be a surprise if a 3rd party candidate happens to make it into the presidential debates.
As of this writing, Johnson looks to have the best chance at breaking into the presidential debates considering he’s not that far off from reaching the 15% threshold. Stein however; not so much.
Who’s Moderating This Thing?
Quite a few people. As we said before, the Commission on Presidential Debates is a non-partisan independent body, so it’s expected that there will be a wide range of moderators running these debates. As of this writing, the list of moderators hasn’t been released yet, but if Politico is to be believed then there are some heavy hitters being considered including Martha Raddatz of ABC, Jake Tapper of CNN, Chuck Todd of NBC, and Megyn Kelly of Fox News to name a few. Considering Donald Trump will be part of these debates, they’re going to need a strong moderator to make sure the candidates stay on message.
Also speaking of Trump…
Is Donald Trump Showing Up to These Debates?
I mean he has to, right?
As usual, Hillary & the Dems are trying to rig the debates so 2 are up against major NFL games. Same as last time w/ Bernie. Unacceptable!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 30, 2016
Now granted the above tweet makes it sound as if he’s laying the foundation to weasel out of the debates, but with Trump being behind significantly in the polls, debating Clinton in front of a nationally televised audience means there’s a potential to change the current projections of this race. While there’ll be tough negotiations from both campaigns over the smallest details on stage, at this time, it’s hard to see Trump ducking the presidential debates.
(Photo Credits: Google Images, Pixabay)