Presidential Debate Schedule Announced
The Commission on Presidential Debates has announced the dates and venues for this fall’s Presidential and Vice-Presidential debates:
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will participate in three general election debates from September through October, according to the schedule released Thursday by the nonpartisan organization that sponsors the debates.
The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) announced the first debate will take place on Sept. 26, 2016 at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, while the second and third debates will occur on Oct. 9, 2016 at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and Oct. 19, 2016 at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada. Though each debate will run from 9-10:30 p.m. E.T. without commercial breaks, debates will also be divided into different time segments lasting 10-15 minutes. This format builds upon the 2012 debates where longer segments allowed candidates to get through the specifics of their policy proposals.
“The CPD has a simple mission, to ensure that presidential debates help the public learn about the positions of the leading candidates for president and vice president,” said the two CPD co-chairs. “These formats will allow an in-depth exploration of the major topics in this year’s election.”
In addition to the three presidential debates, CPD also announced the vice presidential debate will take place on Oct. 4, 2016, at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia. Only moderators will be able to privately select the questions posed to the candidates featured at all of the debates. But, a group of uncommitted voters will have the chance to ask a few questions at the second presidential debate, which is styled like a town-hall meeting.
As in the past, any third-party candidates would need to poll at at least 15% in national polls to be eligible to receive an invitation to any of the debates. At present, that would mean that none of the third-party candidates would qualify for the debates. In a three-way poll, Libertarian Party Presidential nominee and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson is averaging 7.9% of the vote and his highest polling number since receiving the Libertarian Party nomination being the eleven percent he received in a Pew Research poll in June. In four-way polling that includes Green Party nominee Jill Stein, Johnson averages 6.7% while Stein averages 3.5%, and only Johnson has reached double digits in any recent poll that includes all four candidates. The numbers we’re seeing right now are the best we’ve seen from minor party candidates in quite some time but, for the moment at least, still not sufficient to get to that 15% threshold.