2020 Presidential Debate Calendar: What You Need to Know

We’ve entered debate season, and here’s the who, what, when and where for the three matchups between President Trump and Joe Biden and the single vice-presidential debate.


By Isabella Grullón Paz

Like many things this year, the presidential and vice-presidential debates will look a little different. There will only be one moderator per debate, and we’re still not sure if there will be a crowd — and, if there is, how many people will be allowed in. Each debate will start at 9 p.m. Eastern time and will run uninterrupted for an hour and a half, according to the Commission on Presidential Debates.

Here’s a rundown of what we know for each debate so far:

Sept. 29

First Presidential Debate

Location: President Trump and Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic nominee, will meet at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. Notre Dame withdrew as host because of the coronavirus pandemic.

How to watch: The Times will livestream the event, and our reporters will provide commentary and analysis. The debate will also be carried on channels including CNN, Fox News, CBS, ABC, C-SPAN, NBC and MSNBC.

The moderator: Chris Wallace, the anchor of “Fox News Sunday,” will moderate the debate. It will be the second time he has moderated a presidential debate; the first was between Mr. Trump and Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Topics announced: The moderator has full discretion in picking the debate topics. For the first round, Mr. Wallace chose Mr. Trump’s and Mr. Biden’s records, the Supreme Court, the coronavirus pandemic, the economy, race and violence in cities and the integrity of the election. There will be 15 minutes to discuss each topic.

Oct. 7

Vice-Presidential Debate

Location: Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

How to watch: The Times will have an uninterrupted livestream and will provide insight and analysis. The debate will also be carried on the news networks.

The moderator: The vice-presidential debate will be moderated by Susan Page, USA Today’s Washington bureau chief.

Topics announced: Topics are announced by the moderator and the Commission on Presidential Debates a week before the debate. We know that there will be nine topics, and each will get about 10 minutes.

Oct. 15

Second Presidential Debate

Location: Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami. This debate was originally scheduled to take place at the University of Michigan, which said it wouldn’t host the debate because of concerns over the pandemic.

How to watch: The Times will stream the event and provide live analysis. The debate will also be carried on the news networks.

The moderator: Steve Scully, who is the political editor at C-SPAN, will moderate a town-hall-style event with undecided voters from South Florida. Mr. Scully will have an additional minute per question to prompt further discussion.

Topics announced: The moderator and the Commission on Presidential Debates will announce the topics a week before the debate.

Oct. 22

Third Presidential Debate

Location: Belmont University in Nashville.

How to watch: The Times will have an uninterrupted stream along with a live chat and a live briefing with analysis from our reporters. The debate will also be carried on the news networks.

The moderator: Kristen Welker, NBC News White House correspondent and co-anchor of “Weekend Today.” She is only the second Black woman to serve as the sole moderator of a presidential debate. The first was Carole Simpson.

Topics announced: The moderator and the Commission on Presidential Debates will announce topics a week before the debate, but as in the first debate, there will be six topics. Each will get 15 minutes.

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