Caroline Amenabar / NPR; Gage Skidmore / Flickr
With less than two weeks until the end of the vote, President Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden will face each other for the last time in a debate on Thursday, possibly marking Trump’s last chance to reach a large audience as ‘he follows Biden in polls nationwide and in major states.
They will share the stage three weeks after their first debate, which was marked by Trump’s almost constant interruption of both his opponent and the moderator, a tactic that appeared to have hurt him in subsequent polls.
The Non-partisan Presidential Debates Commission recognized the chaos and pledged to add “extra structure” to the format of the remaining debates to avoid duplication of performances.
On Monday evening, the committee announced the muting of the microphones to begin each of Thursday’s debate segments.
Under the new rules, Biden and Trump will each have two minutes of uninterrupted time at the start of each 15-minute segment. Then they can discuss issues with each other with both microphones open.
The Trump campaign said without evidence that the debate organizers were biased in favor of Biden. Yet in a statement following the new rule change, Trump’s campaign manager Bill Stepien said, “President Trump has committed to discuss Joe Biden regardless of the last minute rule changes from the commission biased in its latest attempt to favor its preferred candidate. “
Second – not third – presidential debate
Since the two candidates first clashed on September 29, the president has tested positive for the coronavirus, has been hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for COVID-19 treatment, and has resumed the campaign in person an times the green light from his medical team. .
The two were scheduled to meet again in a town hall-style debate last week, but Trump hesitated when the debate committee opted to go virtual, given the president’s recent COVID-19 diagnosis. The debate is then canceled.
Instead, the two candidates took part in duels broadcast in town halls on the evening the debate was originally scheduled. When the two meet in person on Thursday, they will be separated by two plexiglass barriers.
Thursday’s final debate gives Trump an opportunity to gain momentum in front of a large audience as he lags behind Biden in the polls.
In the latest NPR /PBS NewsHour/ Marist poll, Biden leads Trump 54% to 43% nationally among likely voters.
The former vice president is also several percentage points ahead in crucial states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, according to RealClearPolitics poll averages – with smaller margins in places like Florida and North Carolina.
But despite advances in investigative snapshots, the Biden campaign urges supporters not to be complacent. In a memo on Saturday, Biden’s campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon warned: “Donald Trump can still win this race.”
“The reality is this race is much closer than some of the pundits we see on Twitter and on TV suggest,” she wrote. “In the main states of the battlefield where this election will be decided, we stand shoulder to shoulder with Donald Trump. “
Trump also faces a financial challenge. Although he started his re-election campaign with a big cash edge, he is passed by Biden in TV commercials in six key states.
The Biden campaign announced last week that together with allied Democratic groups it had raised $ 383 million in September alone, about $ 135 million more than the Trump campaign and Republican affiliates raised last month.
Tuesday evening, nearly 36 million people had already voted in this election, according to the US Elections Project.
Here are the details of the final presidential debate:
When? 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. ET Thursday. (You can listen to the debate on NPR, and we’ll have a live video online.)
Where? Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.
Who moderates? Kristen Welker of NBC News
Trump sticks to his habit of criticize the moderator before a debate.
“[Welker’s] yelling questions at me for a long time. She’s not good, ”Trump said at a rally Monday in Prescott, Ariz.
But Trump’s senior adviser Jason Miller Recount Martha MacCallum of Fox News in early October that he has a “very high opinion” of Welker and that “she is a journalist who is very fair in her approach”.
What is the format? The debate will be divided into six 15-minute segments. Each candidate will have two minutes of uninterrupted time at the start of each segment.
What are the topics? Welker published the provisional subjects a week before the debate. Not necessarily in that order, here are the topics:
Trump’s campaign manager Stepien sent the debate committee a letter On Monday, he criticized him for not including a section on foreign policy, which the campaign sees as a weak spot for Biden. (Prior to being vice president, Biden chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.) Stepien asked the committee to “rethink and re-edit a set of topics” for debate, with an emphasis on foreign policy.