Presidential debate schedule in flux as campaigns disagree over timeline, format

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
October 9, 2020: The presidential debate schedule is in flux as Joe Biden and Donald Trump disagree over the timeline and format. Trump wants to hold a rally in Florida on Saturday.

Notable Quote of the Day

“As the [2000 election] drama unfolded, many Americans thought more votes needed to be tallied, but they also thought Gore should concede defeat. In a Fox News survey from late November, the plurality of people, 47 percent, thought that not all the votes in Florida had been counted. But the same survey also found that 56 percent of people thought Gore should concede.

This psychology is fascinating when seen through 2020’s rearview mirror. It speaks to a certain satisfaction some people had with the general political state of things: Either Bush or Gore would do just fine. It’s the sort of laissez-faire attitude toward election outcomes that 15-point partisan differences buy you. In the 36-point era, we’re discussing all-out civil war if things are too close to call on election night.”

– Clare Malone, FiveThirtyEight

Election Updates

  • The Commission on Presidential Debates said on Thursday that it would not reconsider its decision to make the second debate virtual. After Donald Trump said he would not participate in the debate, ABC News announced it would hold a town hall with Joe Biden on Oct. 15.
  • Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said, “We’ll pass on this sad excuse to bail out Joe Biden and do a rally instead,” In a second statement, Stepien said the second debate should be moved to Oct. 22 and the third moved to Oct. 29. The Biden campaign rejected the proposal to move the third debate, saying in a statement, “We look forward to participating in the final debate, scheduled for October 22, which already is tied for the latest debate date in 40 years. Donald Trump can show up, or he can decline again. That’s his choice.”
  • The Trump campaign issued another statement on Thursday evening, calling for the second debate to go forward in-person as originally planned. The committee said it was not reconsidering the format, despite Trump’s request.
  • Biden is campaigning in Las Vegas on Friday, including delivering remarks at a drive-in event.
  • Trump said he wanted to hold a campaign rally in Florida on Saturday if his campaign could organize it in time. He also said he wanted to make a stop in Pennsylvania on Sunday.
  • Trump’s physician, Sean Conley, said in a statement on Thursday, “Saturday will be day 10 since Thursday’s diagnosis, and based on the trajectory of advanced diagnostics the team has been conducting, I fully anticipate the President’s safe return to public engagement at that time.”

Flashback: October 9, 2016

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump met in the second presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.blank

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About the author

Emily Aubert

Emily Aubert is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

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