US Election TV debate: What time is Trump vs Biden and how to watch in the UK

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TV debates form a vital part of each election cycle in the US, as candidates get the first chance to publicly face-off against one another. Donald Trump and Joe Biden will trade political blows as they attempt to convince the nation to vote in their favour. They will also get the chance to directly challenge their competitor’s claims, something neither one has done in person as of yet.

What time is Trump vs Biden?

Mr Biden and Mr Trump have spent the last few months trading blows via campaign adverts and the internet, where they can freely say what they choose.

Televised debates present a chance for moderated questioning, and Fox News anchor Chris Wallace will take the role from Cleveland, Ohio today.

The northern state runs on Eastern Time, and the debate will kick off in the US hours after most Brits have retired for the night.

The first Presidential debate kicks off at 9pm ET from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

Only night owl Brits will get the chance to watch the bout, as 9pm ET translates to 2am BST in the UK.

The debate is the first of three and will receive mass media coverage in the US.

The same goes for the UK, as viewers can catch it via most established news channels, including BBC News, Sky, and CNN, which people can tune into via Sky TV.

Which subjects will the candidates debate today?

Mr Wallace will quiz Mr Biden and Mr Trump on the following six subjects:

  • President Trump and Mr Biden’s records
  • The Supreme Court
  • The integrity of the election
  • Covid-19
  • Race and violence in US cities
  • The economy

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Political pundits believe the candidates will approach the televised debates in very different ways.

Speaking to the New York Times, Jim Margolis, a senior consultant for Hillary Clinton when she debated Mr Trump in 2016, said the President would approach the platform as a showman rather than a politician.

He said: “Trump approaches debates not as an airing of ideas and policies, but as a reality TV show.

“Be the centre of attention, say outrageous things that take time off the clock and use easily digestible catchphrases that will get repeated on the news the next day.”

As the moderator, Mr Wallace said he would not interfere too much with the candidate’s exchange.

He has pledged not to fact check the claims made by either competitor in real-time, instead leaving it to the rivals to call one another out.

He said ahead of today’s debate: “My job is to be as invisible as possible

“I’m trying to get them to engage, to focus on the key issues, to give people at home a sense of, ‘why I want to vote for one versus the other.’”

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