Things to Know Ahead of First Clinton vs. Trump Debate On Monday

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton (Photos: AP; Reuters)

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton (Photos: AP; Reuters)

The first fall presidential debate of 2016 is being anticipated with all the hype (and class) of a heavyweight boxing match. Perhaps we should call it “Smackdown at the Mack,” since it is being held at the Hofstra University’s David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex on New York’s Long Island.

So how should you watch this D-Day of Debates? We have some tips for you:

What time does it start?

Monday’s debate — and all other debates of this presidential cycle — starts at 9 p.m. ET and lasts for 90 minutes. It will be moderated by NBC’s Lester Holt, and the announced topics are “America’s Direction, Achieving Prosperity, (and) Securing America,” which pretty much leaves room for anything Holt wants to ask.

Who will be on stage?

Just Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Neither Libertarian Gary Johnson nor Green Party candidate Jill Stein met the threshold set by the Commission on Presidential Debates for getting into the debate, both failing to have “demonstrated a level of support of at least 15 percent of the national electorate” based on polls. Four years ago, Stein protested her exclusion from the debates by getting arrested at this same site for civil disobedience, and she told our Susan Page in August that she plans to do it again this year.

Where can I watch it?

This debate will be broadcast everywhere. All the major networks will have it live, the cable networks will have it live, it will be livestreamed on websites, social media platforms and even broadcast on live radio. Facebook and Twitter will both livestream the debate. And no doubt, someone will be covering the debate with Snapchat’s new Spectacles, for those who don’t have the attention span for Twitter.

About the only place you won’t find the debate is ESPN, which is airing the Monday Night Football game between the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons. Trump had raised concerns when the debate was first scheduled that it would be competing for attention with an NFL game, but those of us from the industrial Midwest would be happy to explain why Falcons-Saints playing inside a concrete dome is not actually an NFL game.

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SOURCE: Paul Singer 
USA TODAY

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