It’s September 1st (no, I can’t believe it either) and that means we’re now in the month of the first presidential debate. Personally, I can’t wait for this dumpster fire of an election cycle to finish and go far away forever.
Among debate factoids, Washington University in St. Louis again gets a debate. More debates have been held there than any other institution in American history. Like usual, the debates are held at institutions of higher learning, which should make it especially entertaining/terrifying to watch the Republican nominee verbalize in a setting crammed with people who read books. Three presidential debates; one VP one for Tim Kaine v. Mike Pence.
Here are the formats for the 4 debates, which will include both a town meeting style with citizen questions and also the more traditional format of timed sections, moderator questions and opportunities for candidates to respond to each other. Each of the debates will run 90 minutes starting at 9pm, and without commercial interruption.
The moderators aren’t picked yet, with an announcement expected after the Labor Day weekend (which is unusually late). And that’s probably because Donald Trump is being a truculent child. He signaled last month that he won’t commit to any debates until he finds out about the “conditions” of the debate and who the moderators are. Trump says he’ll demand “fair” moderators, and says some moderators would be “unacceptable, absolutely.” Trump just went Page Six on Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, so unless the Commission on Presidential Debates wants a lot of moderator drama to be the story, they’re probably seeking moderators they guess won’t cause him to pitch a fit.
Will Jill Stein or Gary Johnson be in the debates? Some Americans really want them to be, and they both do too. But according to rules set out by the Commission they’d have to average 15% support across multiple national polls. Johnson’s a lot closer (10%) to that number than Stein (4%) but as this all moves closer, those numbers may shift upward.
Here are the dates:
Monday, September 26
Location: Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York
Tuesday, October 4
Vice presidential debate
Location: Longwood University, Farmville, Virginia
Sunday, October 9
Location: Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri
Wednesday, October 19
Location: University of Nevada, Las Vegas