Dates and venues for three 2024 presidential debates announced

The debates, which will take place in September and October, will be staged at university campuses in Texas, Virginia and Utah

Mike Bedigan
Los Angeles
Tuesday 21 November 2023 02:04 GMT
Key moments from third GOP debate

The dates and venues for the three 2024 presidential debates have been announced.

The debates, which will take place in September and October will be staged at US university campuses in the states of Texas, Virginia and Utah.

The news was announced by the nonpartisan, nonprofit Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) on Monday.

The first debate will take place on 16 September at Texas State University in San Marcos. It will be followed by the second at Virginia State University in Petersburg on 1 October.

The final debate will take place just over a week later at The University of Utah, in Salt Lake City, on 9 October.

A vice presidential debate has also been scheduled to take place on 25 September at Lafayette College, in Easton, Pennsylvania.

Further details about the debates, including format and moderators, will be released in 2024, the CPD said.

In a statement, CPD Co-Chairs Frank Fahrenkopf and Antonia Hernandez said the chosen sites would help bring “another set of historic conversations to audiences here and abroad”.

"The United States’ general election debates, watched live worldwide, are a model for many other countries: the opportunity to hear and see leading candidates address serious issues in a fair and neutral setting,” the statement read.

“This tradition remains unbroken since 1976. In 2024, students at our four debate sites will help bring another set of historic conversations to audiences here and abroad. And their campuses will anchor four unique chances to listen and learn.

"We are deeply grateful to the University of Utah for hosting its second general election debate, to Lafayette College and Texas State University for the first CPD debates in Pennsylvania and Texas, and to Virginia State University for the first debate ever held at a Historically Black College or University (HBCU)."

It comes as the races for each party’s chosen candidate continues.

Recent polls have shown that Donald Trump is still a clear leader for the Republican candidate, while president Joe Biden continues to slip down in national popularity polls.

A national poll released by NBC on Sunday shows Mr Trump leading the rest of the Republican field by 40 points and beating Biden by two points, while Mr Biden’s approval rating has dropped to 40 per cent.

If Mr Trump does claim the Republican nomination, as expected, there is no guarantee he will attend the three presidential debates.

He has so far refused to take part in any of the Republican debates, arguing that there is no point as he is so far ahead in the polls, and holding spoiler events instead.

In 2020 the first debate between Mr Trump and Mr Biden was widely interpreted as having gone badly for the then-president, who kept shouting over his opponent’s answers and was repeatedly upbraided by moderator Chris Wallace for ignoring the rules. Mr Trump was challenged to condemn far-right groups like the Proud Boys but instead said: “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by.”

The second debate was cancelled after Mr Trump caught Covid. The third debate was less contentious than the first as the candidates’ microphones were muted by the production company during each other’s inital two-minute answers to try to limit the interruptions that had characterised the first debate.

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