With the 2016 presidential election now mere weeks away, Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton are preparing to go head-to-head in their first presidential debate tonight. Expected to attract a record audience, the debate will give Trump and Clinton an opportunity to put forward their ideas on a national stage. In this article, we’ll take a look at everything you need to know about the first presidential debate, including when and where you can watch the two candidates go head-to-head.
When does the debate take place?
The first showdown between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will take place tonight, September 26. Held in front of a live audience at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, the debate will kick off at 9 p.m. ET. According to the Mirror, the debate will be comprised of six 15-minute segments, with an expected running time of 90 minutes in total. That being said, the candidates will be given no breaks during that time, meaning there’ll be no opportunity for a half-time conflab with advisors.
How can you watch the debate live?
As aforementioned, the first presidential debate between Trump and Clinton is expected to pull in record level viewers, largely helped by the number of undecided voters ahead of November’s presidential election. According to US Weekly, whilst the debate will be hosted by NBC’s Lester Holt, it’ll be broadcast on almost all major cable networks. CNN, Fox News, ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC and C-SPAN have all confirmed that they’ll be airing the debate, whilst ABC News and Facebook are also teaming up to broadcast the debate online.
Social media will undeniably be a key focus of tonight’s debate too. As aforementioned, Facebook and ABC News have plans to stream the debate online, whilst Twitter is promoting the #Debates and #Debates2016 hashtags for use throughout the evening, with both expected to hit the top of the network’s trending list.
Additionally, the debate will be shown live by a number of international broadcasters. The debate is expected to be watched by a large audience in the United Kingdom, where it will be shown on Sky News, with coverage from New York live from 11 p.m. BST.
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What are the debate topics?
Each candidate has no prior knowledge of the questions they’ll be asked during the debate, which is to be expected. That being said, Lester Holt has already confirmed three fairly vague focuses for tonight’s debate, which include America’s Direction, Achieving Prosperity, and Securing America. As aforementioned, the debate will comprise of a total of six 15-minute segments, with each of the questions within those segments expected to fall within the frame of one of the aforementioned topics.
What should you expect from both candidates?
There’s no denying that Clinton and Trump are wildly different candidates. With that in mind, Hillary Clinton is expected to have undergone the most intensive training for tonight’s debate. Her team is believed to have forensically checked Donald Trump’s performance in the Republican primary debates, with a mind to find areas of weakness. The Clinton campaign believes that Trump can be baited into making mistakes, which could work out very well for their candidate.
Donald Trump, on the other hand, is a lot more unpredictable. Those close to his campaign say that he hasn’t spent all that much time preparing for the debate. However, he is believed to be taking measured advice from some Republican party bigwigs. In all, Trump and Clinton are expected to head into tonight’s debate each with a polarizing outlook.
[Featured Images by Justin Sullivan/Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]