Vice presidential debate next week: What to know about 2020 schedule

Mike Pence, Kamala Harris go head-to-head in Salt Lake City; Next debate for Joe Biden, President Trump in Miami
WASHINGTON -- With the first presidential debate checked off and the November election quickly approaching, the 2020 vice-presidential candidates will be the next to face off on the debate stage.

Vice President Mike Pence and Biden's running mate Sen. Kamala Harris are scheduled to go head-to-head on Wednesday, Oct. 7, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Click here for coverage of the first debate between incumbent President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee former Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday, Sept. 29, in Cleveland, Ohio. The president and former VP will meet again for a town hall-style debate Oct. 15 and final debate Oct. 22.

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First presidential debate between Trump, Biden: VIDEOS (1 of 13)

The first debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden erupted in contentious exchanges Tuesday night.



Here's everything we know about the 2020 presidential debates:

When and where are the debates?


All four debates are 90 minutes in length and are running from 9:00 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT/ 6 p.m. PT until 10:30 p.m. ET/9:30 p.m. CT/7:30 p.m. PT.

  • Sept. 29: First presidential debate at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio

  • Oct. 7: Vice presidential debate at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah

  • Oct. 15: Second presidential debate at Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida

  • Oct. 22: Third presidential debate at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee

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    Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the fourth day of the Democratic National Convention, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Del.



    Who are the moderators?



    According to the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates, the moderators are:
  • Chris Wallace of Fox News moderated the first debate

  • USA Today's Susan Page for the vice presidential debate

  • Steve Scully of C-SPAN for the "town meeting" debate on Oct. 15

  • NBC's Kristen Welker for the debate on Oct. 22


  • Will the CPD make changes after the chaotic first debate?


    The Sept. 29 presidential debate deteriorated into bitter taunts and near chaos, with Trump in particular repeatedly interrupting Biden and talking over the moderator, Chris Wallace.

    A day later, the commission released a statement saying it will consider changes to the debate format and will announce those shortly.

    "The Commission on Presidential Debates sponsors televised debates for the benefit of the American electorate. Last night's debate made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues," the statement read.

    What will the debates look like?


    The 2020 debates are following similar formats used in 2012 and 2016.

    Vice presidential debate


    The debate will be divided into nine 10-minute segments. Pence and Harris will each have two minutes to respond.

    First and third debate


    The first and third presidential debates are divided into six segments of approximately 15 minutes each on major topics to be selected by the moderator, according to the Commission on Presidential Debates. Those topics will be announced at least one week before each debate.

    Candidates will have two minutes to respond to the moderators' questions.

    The "town hall" debate


    The second presidential debate will look similar to a town hall. Trump and Biden will answer questions from uncommitted Miami-area voters selected under the supervision of Dr. Frank Newport from the global analytics firm Gallup.

    The candidates will have two minutes to answer each question, and the moderator will have an additional minute to facilitate further discussion.

    How will the coronavirus pandemic impact the debates?


    Due to health and safety protocols amid the COVID-19 pandemic, ticketing is extremely limited for all four events. Seating will also promote social distancing.

    The CPD said it will follow all CDC, state, county and site health and safety protocols at the four debate sites, with the Cleveland Clinic serving as its health security advisor.

    The University of Notre Dame announced in July it would withdraw from hosting the first presidential debate in September due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. The venue was rescheduled to Case Western Reserve University.

    The second presidential debate was also originally scheduled elsewhere. The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, announced in June that it could not safely hold the debate, so it was moved to the 525,000-square-foot Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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