On Oct. 9, the second presidential debate between former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump was officially canceled.
Though the second presidential debate was canceled, both presidential campaigns broadcasted town hall meetings on ABC News and NBC News on Oct. 15 in relation to upcoming debates.
The third presidential debate occurred on Thursday, Oct. 22. The event will be held at Curb Event Center at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, less than two weeks before Election Day on Nov. 3.
On Oct. 16, the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) announced that the moderator had selected topics for the candidates to debate. The topics included fighting COVID-19, American families, race in America, the climate crisis, national security and leadership.
The debate was moderated by Kristen Welker, an American television journalist currently working for NBC News.
The Oct. 22 debate was not Welker’s first time moderating a political debate. She joined Rachel Maddow, Andrea Mitchell and Ashley Parker in moderating the Democratic debate in November 2019. She asked candidates Biden, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren astute questions about universal healthcare, affordable housing and white supremacy.
The format of the debate was the same as the first presidential debate, with six roughly 15-minute segments, giving each candidate two minutes to respond to Welker’s opening questions. Welker moderated deeper discussions from those statements.
In a statement released on Oct. 19, the CPD announced a rule change to keep this debate more orderly. During each candidate’s two-minute remarks at the beginning of each segment, the candidate who is not speaking had his microphone muted to prevent interruption. After the opening remarks are finished, both candidates’ microphones were again unmuted to allow for open discussion.
A full video of the Oct. 22 debate can be viewed here.