Donald Trump vs. Joe Biden Presidential Debates: Everything to Know

By | October 12, 2020

The first and second debates of the 2020 presidential election are officially behind us. President Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, and former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee, faced each other on Sept. 29 in a contentious and chaotic event. While the latest debate, between Biden’s running mate Senator Kamala Harris and current Vice President Mike Pence, was a much more controlled affair, it still became buzzy for all the wrong reasons (get it?). And we’re only halfway through the debate schedule — though the future of the debates is currently up in the air.  

Trump and Biden’s second presidential debate, originally scheduled to take place Oct. 15, has been canceled by the Commission on Presidential Debates after Trump refused to debate virtually. Instead, Biden will hold a town hall on ABC at the time originally planned for the debate. The presidential candidates are currently still scheduled to debate one more time later this month, giving voters one last chance to watch the candidates face off before the general election. 

The 2020 presidential election takes place on Tuesday, Nov. 3 and is already underway in some states

To help guide your viewership of the remaining 2020 presidential debates, TV Guide has compiled everything you need to know, including details about how and when to tune in to the debates, where they’ll take place, what to expect, and more.  

When is the next debate?

The second POTUS debate between Trump and Biden was scheduled to air on Thursday, Oct. 15 at 9/8c, with moderator Steve Scully, political editor of C-SPAN. However, the debate has been canceled following Trump’s refusal to engage in a virtual debate despite concerns about his COVID-19 diagnosis. The Commission on Presidential Debates announced the event’s cancellation on Oct. 9.

In lieu of the debate, ABC has announced it will air a town hall with Joe Biden on Oct. 15, moderated by George Stephanopoulos. Trump is also reportedly in talks with NBC about his own town hall event, though nothing is confirmed.

How do I rewatch the first presidential debate?

The first debate between President Trump, the Republican incumbent, and former Vice President Biden, the Democratic candidate, took place on Tuesday, Sept. 29. It is available to rewatch in the embedded C-SPAN video above. 

The first Trump-Biden debate was held at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, and ran for just over 90 minutes. Ohio is traditionally one of the battleground states that factor heavily into election results, and while polls have been close, Trump is currently leading with likely voters in that state. Fox News’ Chris Wallace served as moderator for the debate, after being chosen by the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates in early September. 

Trump and Biden were questioned on a series of six topics chosen by moderator Chris Wallace, including their public service records, the Supreme Court, COVID-19, the economy, race and violence in U.S. cities, and the integrity of the election. 

Late-Night Hosts React to the First Trump-Biden Debate: ‘Yo, What Was That?’ 

How do I rewatch the vice presidential debate?

The second debate of the 2020 presidential election between vice presidential candidates Mike Pence, who remains on the ballot alongside Trump, and Kamala Harris, who is running on Biden’s ticket, took place on Wednesday, Oct. 7. It is available to rewatch in the embedded C-SPAN video above. 

The sole debate between the VP candidates was held at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah. USA Today‘s Washington Bureau chief Susan Page moderated the debate, and a modified format was presented in light of Trump’s positive COVID-19 diagnosis just days after his debate with Biden, and the subsequent diagnoses of several prominent Republicans associated with Trump. A 12-foot distance was maintained between Harris and Pence, as opposed to the seven-foot distance Trump and Biden kept, and they both remained seated at desks behind plexiglass throughout the evening.

Harris and Pence were questioned on a number of topics, ranging from the coronavirus pandemic to presidential disability.

The Most Fly-conic Twitter Reactions to Kamala Harris and Mike Pence’s Vice Presidential Debate

When are the other debates?

Following the canceled second debate between Trump and Biden, the two presidential candidates are currently scheduled to debate one more time near the end of October. The final debate is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 22 at 9/8c. It will be held at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, with NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker moderating. The format will be identical to the first POTUS debate. 

According to the Commission on Presidential Debates, the controversy surrounding the first debate has prompted them to consider some changes to the format of the Trump-Biden debates going forward. In a statement, the commission said the “debate made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues.”

When are the presidential town halls?

Joe Biden is currently scheduled to hold a town hall event on Thursday, Oct. 15, in place of the canceled second presidential debate. Ahead of the VP debate, Biden appeared in an NBC News town hall moderated by Lester Holt on Oct. 5. Decision 2020: Joe Biden Town Hall took place at the Pérez Art Museum Miami in Miami, Florida, and featured a socially distanced audience of undecided Florida voters. It is available to watch in full in the embedded video above.

Both Trump and Biden also previously did live network-hosted town halls ahead of the first presidential debate. Trump’s first town hall took place on ABC on Tuesday, Sept. 15 in Pennsylvania. George Stephanopoulos oversaw Trump’s Q&A with “uncommitted” voters in the battleground state. Highlights of the event are available at ABC, and a full transcript is also available at ABC. The same week, Joe Biden participated in a separate town hall with CNN’s Anderson Cooper and a socially distanced live audience in Biden’s home town, Scranton, Pennsylvania, on Thursday, Sept. 17. Highlights of that event are available at CNN, and a full transcript is also available at CNN