First Presidential Debate in the books

Ben Gilbert

Presidential candidates Joe Biden and Donald Trump squared off in Cleveland, Ohio for the first presidential debate for the upcoming 2020 election. Moderated by longtime Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, the debate covered topics such as Covid-19, The Supreme Court, the economy, election integrity, and racial injustice. Around 73 million viewers tuned in to the hour and a half long debate.

   Typical debate rules allow for each candidate to respond to a question by the moderator with two minutes of uninterrupted talking, with the opportunity for the opposing candidate to have two minutes to respond. Within the first few minutes, it was clear that these two candidates did not plan to play by the rules. Both Trump and Biden constantly interrupted each other and viewers struggled to understand the key points from either candidate. Moderator Wallace struggled to gain control, having to remind both Trump and Biden several times of the debate rules, to which they previously agreed.

   Since the debate, the Commission on Presidential Debates has considered rule changes due to the chaotic first debate. Two more debates are scheduled for the dates October 15 and October 27. Americans are optimistic about the potential for new information and less interrupting going forward.