What to Expect from The Biden-Trump Presidential Debate and What Remains Uncertain

Joe Biden and Donald Trump presidential debate.
Joe Biden and Donald Trump presidential debate. (File photo)
President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have agreed to participate in two highly anticipated presidential debates ahead of the 2024 election, set for June 27 and September 10. These debates are poised to be significant events, offering voters a direct comparison of the candidates' policies and leadership styles. Learn about the critical details, past criticisms of debate-centered campaigns, what is known and unknown about the upcoming debates, and their impact on U.S. voters, non-voters, and the global audience.

The Importance of Presidential Debates

Presidential debates are a longstanding tradition in American politics, having been a fixture of every general election campaign since 1976. These debates provide a critical platform for candidates to present their policies and respond to their opponents in real-time. They are significant events that can sway public opinion and influence voter decisions.

According to a joint statement from twelve major news organizations, including ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox, PBS, NBC, NPR, and the Associated Press, “Amidst that backdrop, there is simply no substitute for the candidates debating with each other, and before the American people, their visions for the future of our nation”

Previous Criticisms and Challenges

Both Biden and Trump have faced criticisms related to their debate performances in past elections. The first debate in 2020, moderated by Chris Wallace of Fox News, was marked by frequent interruptions and personal attacks, leading to widespread criticism of the candidates' conduct. Biden, at one point, famously told Trump to “shut up,” reflecting the contentious nature of the encounter​​.

Trump's refusal to participate in a virtual debate after testing positive for COVID-19 further complicated the 2020 debate schedule, resulting in the cancellation of the third debate. This decision underscored the challenges of organizing and maintaining the integrity of the debate process amidst unprecedented circumstances.

What We Know and Don't Know About the 2024 Debates

What We Know:

Dates and Locations: The debates are set for June 27 and September 10, 2024. The exact venues have not been confirmed, but they are expected to be announced in the coming months​.

Participation: Both Biden and Trump have agreed in principle to participate. Trump has emphasized his willingness to debate “anytime, any place, and anywhere,” often criticizing Biden for allegedly avoiding direct confrontation​.

Format and Moderation: The debates will be organized by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), which has faced criticism from Trump and the GOP for perceived bias. Despite this, the CPD is moving forward with its plans, maintaining its traditional role in organizing these key events.

What We Don't Know:

Final Confirmation: While both candidates have indicated their willingness to debate, formal commitments have yet to be made. Biden's campaign has been non-committal, and Trump has set conditions regarding the selection of moderators and the format of the debates​.

Impact of Third-Party Candidates: The CPD's rules require candidates to poll at least 15% in national surveys to qualify for participation. This threshold could impact third-party candidates like Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who is currently polling close to this mark but has not yet secured a spot on the debate stage​.

Viewership and Public Engagement: Given the polarized political climate and the decline in television news ratings compared to the 2020 campaign, it remains to be seen how many viewers will tune in and what the overall impact on voter sentiment will be.

The Impact of Presidential Debates

Presidential debates are crucial for informing the electorate. They provide a rare opportunity for voters to see the candidates unscripted, challenging each other on policy positions and leadership capabilities. These debates can highlight key differences between the candidates and clarify their stances on important issues.

For non-voting citizens and the international community, these debates offer insights into the potential future direction of U.S. policy. They serve as a barometer of the nation's political climate and can influence global perceptions of American leadership.

In previous elections, debate performances have had significant impacts. For example, in the 1960 election, John F. Kennedy's strong performance in the first televised debate is often credited with helping him secure a narrow victory over Richard Nixon. Similarly, debates in recent elections have been pivotal in shaping media narratives and public perceptions.

As we approach the 2024 election, the upcoming debates between Biden and Trump are expected to be among the most watched and scrutinized events of the campaign. They will provide a critical platform for both candidates to articulate their visions for the country and address the pressing issues facing the nation.

The 2024 presidential debates between Joe Biden and Donald Trump promise to be high-stakes events that could significantly influence the outcome of the election. While much is known about the format and intentions behind these debates, uncertainties remain regarding final commitments and the inclusion of third-party candidates. As the nation prepares for these critical encounters, voters, non-voting citizens, and international observers alike will be watching closely to see how the candidates perform and what insights these debates will offer into the future leadership of the United States.

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item News | Breaking News, US News, World News: What to Expect from The Biden-Trump Presidential Debate and What Remains Uncertain
What to Expect from The Biden-Trump Presidential Debate and What Remains Uncertain
Learn the key details and controversies surrounding the 2024 Biden-Trump presidential debate and its potential implications. News | Breaking News, US News, World News
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