The presidential debates are misnamed: each candidate "answers" a question in a soundbite; this is not "debating" an issue, as any high school debate team member can attest. It is a made-for-TV battle of spin and the candidate wins who has the best marketing people on staff (who develop memorable "bites" on each issue).
All debates begin at 9 pm Eastern unless otherwise indicated.
See Why (and How) Do Presidential Candidates Debate?
- Friday 26 September, President
Moderator: Jim Lehrer, Executive Editor and Anchor, The NewsHour, PBS
Topic: foreign policy and national security
Location: The University of Mississippi, Oxford
Viewer Guide To First Debate
- Thursday 2 October, Vice President
Moderator: Gwen Ifill, Senior Correspondent, The NewsHour, and Moderator and Managing Editor, Washington Week, PBS
Topic: foreign and domestic policy
Location:Washington University, St. Louis, MO.
Viewer Guide To Vice Presidential Debate
- Tuesday 7 October, President
Moderator: Tom Brokaw, Special Correspondent, NBC News
Topic: any issue raised by members of the audience (town meeting format)
Location: Belmont University, Nashville, TN
Viewer Guide To Second Debate
- Wednesday 15 October, President
Moderator: Bob Schieffer, CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent, and Host, Face the Nation
Topic: domestic and economic policy
Location: Hofstra University, Hempstead, N.Y.
Viewer Guide To Third Debate