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US elections debate: All you need to know about Trump-Biden showdown in Cleveland

The Tuesday night debate will offer a powerful stage for Trump and Biden to outline their opposingly different visions for a country facing multiple crises, including Black Live Matter protests and the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed the lives of more than 200,000 Americans and cost millions of jobs.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: September 30, 2020 6:23:28 am
Joe biden rects to Trump, Biden-Trump, Trump kamala Harris, US elections 2020, Trump's communist remark, world newsJoe Biden (L) and Donald Trump. (File)

The election season in the United States of America is set to intensify as the Presidential candidates — Democrat leader Joe Biden and the incumbent Republican President Donald Trump will engage in their maiden customary face-to-face debate Tuesday night. The debate, held in the state of Ohio, is the first of the three debates ahead of the presidential vote on November 3.

The Tuesday night debate will offer a powerful stage for Trump and Biden to outline their different visions for a country facing multiple crises, including Black Live Matter protests and the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed the lives of more than 200,000 Americans and cost millions of jobs. The debate will last for an estimated 90 minutes.

While Trump’s campaign has recently praised Biden’s debating skills, the President himself has often called for the incompetence of his opponent.

Here’s all you need to know about Biden-Trump debate

When is the debate?

It will begin Wednesday at 6:30 am according to the Indian Standard Time (IST) and will last till 8 am.

What is the venue of the debate?

The debate will be held at the Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio.

Ohio has traditionally been a swing state over the past two decades, but Trump won there by eight points in 2016. The state is seen as trending towards becoming more solidly Republican, due to its whiter, older population compared with the rest of the US.

Who’s moderating the debate?

Fox News host Chris Wallace is appointed to be the moderator in the debate. Wallace won praise for an interview with Trump in July, when he challenged Trump over the coronavirus death count and memorably questioned Trump’s claim to have aced a cognitive test. He’s no favourite of Trump – who on Thursday baselessly claimed Wallace is “controlled by the radical left”.

What topics have been shortlisted for debate?

The Fox News journalist was in charge of selecting the six topics, and they were announced by the Commission on Presidential Debates last week.

They are:

The records of President Trump and former vice-president Joe Biden
The Supreme Court
Covid-19
Economy
Race and violence 
The integrity of the election

What’s the format of the debate?

The debate will have six 15-minute segments. It will run for 90 minutes, with no breaks for commercials. There will be no opening statements, and the first question will go to Trump.

What about coronavirus precautions?

The podiums will be further apart than usual, and Biden and Trump won’t shake hands before or after. According to CNN 60 to 70 people are expected to be in the audience, way below the usual number at a presidential debate.

ALSO READ | Joe Biden nominated for Nobel Peace Prize by Labour MP Chris Bryant

(With inputs from The Guardian)

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