Presidential Campaigns Agree to Debate … With More Rules

May 21, 2024

In national news
… the Presidents have agreed to debate!

Within minutes of each other on Wednesday, both Presidential campaigns announced that they had agreed to debate, but notably are doing so on their own terms.

  • This will be the first time a debate has occurred outside the purview of the Presidential Commission on Debates, since its formation in 1987.

The first debate will occur on June 27 and will be hosted by CNN in Atlanta, GA.

A debate this early in the year is extremely unusual as neither President Joe Biden nor former President Donald Trump has officially accepted their party’s nomination.

A few conditions were agreed to by both campaigns to hold the debates:

  • No audience will be present. This has been viewed as a win for the Biden campaign, as Trump feeds off of audience reactions.
  • Microphones will be cut off if a candidate speaks out of turn.
  • Any candidates invited must earn 15% in at least four major national polls beginning in mid-March and running through June 20. This likely takes third-party Robert F. Kennedy Jr. out of debate contention as he has consistently polled in the high, single digits as of late.
  • The debates are notably early to ensure that they occur before the start of mail-in and early voting.

The second debate is scheduled for September 10 and will be hosted by ABC. The location of the second debate is still to be determined.

You can read more about debate planning intrigue here.

Contact James Montfort ( with any questions.


James Montford
Manager, Government Relations

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