US ELECTION 2020

When will the next presidential debates take place for the 2020 US election?

After a nasty first head-to-head in Cleveland, President Trump and former vice-president Biden are set to meet twice more, if the coronavirus pandemic allows it.

Election 2020: When and where are the second and third presidential debates?
BRIAN SNYDER REUTERS

President Donald Trump and former vice president Joe Biden went head-to-head in the first of their three scheduled debates, which was held in Cleveland, Ohio, on 29 September.

However, the schedule has been thrown into question by Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis and hospitalization. So the big question now is, when will the remaining presidential debates take place between the two candidates?

The latest news is that the second one, set for 15 October, could in theory still go ahead if the president recovers. Biden, who was deemed at risk due to the heated nature of the first debate and the proximity between him and Trump, tested negative.

Covid-19 has drastically affected the presidential campaign forecasts for the Republicans and the Democrats and the televised debates are likely to be the only times Trump and Biden appear alongside each other before election day on 3 November.

Ahead of further presidential clashes, the vice-presidential debate between VP Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala D. Harris takes place on 7 October at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, starting at 9pm ET / 6pm PT (3am CEST on Thursday 8 October).

The low-down on the final presidential debate.

Second US presidential debate still on the cards

If everything goes as expected and Trump recovers from his coronavirus infection, the second presidential debate will take place at the Adrienne Arsht Centre for the Performing Arts in Miami on 15 October at 9pm ET. It was moved to this location because of the pandemic. Originally, it was scheduled for the University of Michigan, which was determined to be unsafe to hold campaigns.

The 90-minute debate will be moderated by Steve Scully from the public service network C-SPAN. The candidates will be given two minutes to answer each question. The debate will differ from the first in that it is modelled on a town hall, with Miami residents in the audience given the opportunity to quiz both contenders. There will be no commercial breaks. There are also expected to be some changes to the format of the debate, possibly with the moderator having the option to mute a candidate's microphone to avoid interruptions.

Third and final US presidential debate

The date and the venue have not changed. The final presidential debate will be at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, on 22 October at 9pm ET. It is one of the few original hosting universities that has not changed its decision to hold this debate. The event will again last for 90 minutes and will be moderated by NBC News correspondent Kristen Welker.

The face-to-face between Trump and Biden will also be divided into 15-minute segments on prepared topics, with no commercial breaks.

How did the first US presidential debate play out?

The first presidential debate of 2020, held at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, was a dog fight affair. Trump and Biden exchanged their ideas on issues such as the Supreme Court, the coronavirus pandemic, racial protests and violence, and the country's economy. But they did so in what was a nasty debate, full of insults and interruptions. Most of the post-debate polls considered that Biden was the winner.

According to YouGov, 69% of the debate watchers were upset by the event, only 17% of viewers felt informed, with 83% of the opinions stating that the debate was negative and only 17% considering it as positive.

Kamala Harris and Mike Pence meet for VP debate

Vice-President Mike Pence and California Senator Kamala Harris also go head-to-head in a televised debate, due to take place on 7 October in Salt Lake City, Utah. It will be moderated by Susan Page of USA Today.

This debate will be divided into nine segments of about 10 minutes each, and each candidate will have two minutes to respond to the moderator's opening question, following which a deeper discussion of each topic will be held.