- REUTERS/Scott Audette (L), Javier Galeano (R)
The upcoming presidential debates may be the most heated – and highly watched – political matchup of our time.
Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump are two of the least-liked candidates in modern history, and this campaign season has turned uglier than any in recent memory.
They will finally come face-to-face at three debates before election day on Tuesday, November 8. The vice presidential candidates will meet in a single debate, as well.
Here’s everything you need to know about the first presidential debate.
When is it?
Monday, September 26, 2016 from 9-10:30 p.m. ET (6-7:30 p.m. PT), without commercial breaks.
Where is it?
Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York on Long Island. The private school was founded in 1935, and has just over 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students combined. Tuition and fees ran about $40,000 for the 2015-16 school year, and 57% of students took out student loans.
NBC “Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt. It’s his first time moderating a presidential debate.
He selected three major topics: “America’s Direction,” “Achieving Prosperity,” and “Securing America.”
There were supposed to be six topics, but Holt chose three, according to the Commission on Presidential Debates, so each one will get two 15-minute time slots.
For each time slot, Holt will ask a question, and then each candidate will have two minutes to respond. He’ll then fill the rest of the time with follow-up questions.
What have the candidates said about the debates so far?
Clinton has been preparing for months, reportedly participating in a full mock debate, with aide Philippe Reines would playing Trump.
Trump at first protested the date of the first debate, as well, because it conflicts with Monday Night Football. The nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates chose the dates last fall before it was clear which candidates would be participating in them.
In response, the Clinton campaign released a statement in August saying she “looks forward to participating in all three presidential debates scheduled by the independent debate commission,” and that “the only issue now is whether Donald Trump is going to show up.”
Bill O’Reilly asked Trump on September 19 if he would attend all of the debates, and the candidate said he would be there.