Second presidential debate canceled as campaigns dispute timeline, format

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
October 12, 2020: The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) announced on Friday that the second presidential debate would not take place. Donald Trump is scheduled to hold his first rally since his COVID-19 diagnosis in Florida on Monday.



Sabato’s Crystal Ball updated its race ratings on October 8, 2020:

  • Arizona moved from Toss Up to Leans Democratic.
  • Georgia moved from Leans Republican to Toss Up.
  • New Hampshire moved from Leans Democratic to Likely Democratic.

Notable Quote of the Day

“Meanwhile, the most important states that tipped the Electoral College to Trump in 2016 — Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — allow, at best, extremely limited pre-processing of mail ballots. That means it could take days to actually declare a winner in those states.

The result: Several narrow paths to a fast 270 electoral votes for Biden, and basically none for Trump — barring a major surprise in states he lost four years ago. The president likely cannot win another term in the White House without waiting days to find out, though Trump has hinted that he could try to claim he won on election night based on vote counts that won’t yet include many mail ballots, which more Democrats are planning to use this year.”

– Zach Montellaro and David Siders, Politico

Election Updates

  • The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) announced on Friday that the second presidential debate would not take place. The group said in a statement, “On October 8, CPD announced that for the health and safety of all involved, the second presidential debate, scheduled for October 15 in Miami, would be conducted virtually. Subsequently, the campaigns of the two candidates who qualified for participation in the debate made a series of statements concerning their respective positions regarding their willingness to participate in a virtual debate on October 15, and each now has announced alternate plans for that date. It is now apparent there will be no debate on October 15, and the CPD will turn its attention to preparations for the final presidential debate scheduled for October 22.”
  • Joe Biden is campaigning in Ohio on Monday with remarks in Toledo and a voter mobilization event in Cincinnati.
  • Cindy McCain, Sen. John McCain’s (R) widow, is featured in a Biden ad that aired during Fox News Sunday, 60 Minutes, and NFL football games. “Joe Biden’s dedicated his life to this country and working across the aisle to get things done. Joe will always fight for the American people, just like John did,” McCain says in the clip.
  • Biden also began airing an ad nationwide featuring 14 Black mayors from across the country.
  • Biden campaigned in Erie, Pennsylvania, on Saturday.
  • Donald Trump’s physician, Sean Conley, said in a statement on Saturday, “This evening I am happy to report that in addition to the President meeting CDC criteria for the safe discontinuation of isolation, this morning’s Covid PCR sample demonstrates, by currently recognized standards, he is no longer considered a transmission risk to others.”
  • Trump is scheduled to hold his first rally since his COVID-19 diagnosis on Monday at an airport in Sanford, Florida.
  • Trump appeared on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show for two hours in what the campaign described as the “largest radio rally in history” on Friday.
  • Trump is airing two new national ads focused reopening the country and Biden’s tax plan.

Flashback: October 12, 2016

Robert Satiacum Jr., a Democratic elector in Washington, said he was considering not voting for Hillary Clinton.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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