Debate 2016: what you need to know before you watch

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton campaigning in West Virginia. (AP photos)

 HEMPSTEAD, NY (MEDIA GENERAL) – After a campaign that’s stretched on for more than a year, tonight voters will for the first time hear from the major party’s nominees on the same stage.

The first televised Presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is scheduled to begin at 9p.m. EDT and last approximately 90 minutes.

Great Expectations

The stakes couldn’t be higher for either Mr. Trump or Mrs. Clinton who will need a breakthrough moment if they hope to find a surge in the polls. The latest data, including a poll released just hours before the first debate, showed the race was too close to call.

A survey of likely voters from Quinnipiac University gave Clinton a 1 point lead but that advantage is within the margin of error.

The Format 

The Commission on Presidential Debates, the group that is organizing all four debates, has selected NBC News anchor Lester Holt as the moderator for tonight’s event. The questions will be selected by Mr. Holt and as the only moderator, he’ll have the option to press the candidates for follow-ups on topics.

Among the topics selected for tonight: “America’s Direction, Achieving Prosperity, Securing America”

There will be six different segments for the debate and each is expected to last an estimated 15 minutes.

Behind the Scenes

The debate hall where most viewers will watch the debate is a carefully controlled and private event. Hofstra University, about 30 miles from New York City, is hosting the debate as well as several thousand journalists, security personnel, and campaign aides. On Sunday night, the U.S. Secret Service shut down the majority of the space around the debate hall for security sweeps.

The audience for tonight’s event is expected to remain quiet except for brief moments of applause in the beginning and end of the debate. Undecided and decided voters will have the chance to speak with the candidates directly during the second Presidential debate on October 9th in St. Louis.

For the latest in the Race for the White House and for a look at tonight’s debate, follow @markpmeredith on Twitter

 

 

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s