When Are the 2024 Presidential Debates?

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Updated: | Originally published:

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have accepted invitations to debate live on television at least twice before the Nov. 5 election, giving voters a chance to hear from both presidential candidates side-by-side well before early voting begins.

The first debate will be hosted by CNN on June 27 and the second will be hosted by ABC on Sept. 10, marking the first set of onstage clashes between the former President and his successor in more than three years.

The June debate is set to be the earliest general-election debate in modern history—a move both candidates support in order to reach early voters who were crucial to Biden’s 2020 election win. Additional debates, which the Trump campaign is calling for, could be announced later in the election cycle.

Most national polls show Trump and Biden within one point of each other, suggesting the debates could play a pivotal role in shaping public opinion and potentially influencing the outcome of the election. A recent poll from The New York Times found that Trump is leading in five out of six swing states, and that more voters trust Trump over Biden to handle the economy.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an independent candidate who is polling around 9.5% nationally, did not qualify for the first debate with Biden and Trump, though he could end up on the debate stage for the second debate if his polling improves to 15% and he appears on more state ballots. He criticized the networks’ decision to exclude him for now, writing on social media that the frontrunners are “colluding” to keep him off the debate stage “because they are afraid I would win.”

Here are the details about the scheduled presidential debates.

June 27, CNN

The first presidential debate will be held on June 27 in CNN’s Atlanta studios, and there will be several rule changes, including no audience present and muted microphones.

The debate will start at 9 p.m. ET and the moderators will be Jake Tapper and Dana Bash, CNN announced. For the first time in recent history, the debate will feature two commercial breaks during the 90-minute broadcast, a departure from past commission-hosted events which did not include corporate advertisements.

Read More: These Are the Rules of the CNN Presidential Debate

The decision to scrap the live audience format—a staple of nearly every presidential debate since 1976—comes after the Biden campaign argued that in-person crowds that cheer and boo can derail the conversation. Trump pushed back on the format, saying that he would prefer “for excitement purposes, a very large venue, although Biden is supposedly afraid of crowds.”

The new rules also include measures such as muted microphones to ensure each candidate's uninterrupted speaking time, no opening statements, and no notes allowed. 

CNN said that in order to qualify for its debate, candidates must “appear on a sufficient number of state ballots to reach the 270 electoral vote threshold to win the presidency and receive at least 15% in four separate national polls of registered or likely voters that meet CNN’s standards for reporting.” According to CNN, Kennedy fell just shy of those benchmarks. The network said he has received at least 15% in three qualifying polls so far and is currently on the ballot in six states, which makes him eligible for 89 Electoral College votes.

September 10, ABC News

Biden and Trump will meet again on Sept. 10 for a presidential debate hosted by ABC News. It’s unclear if there will be an audience and what time the debate will begin, though the network said it would be held during “prime time.”

David Muir and Linsey Davis will moderate the debate, the network announced. The debate will air on ABC News, ABC News Live, and Hulu—and will also be simulcast on additional broadcast and streaming news networks, ABC said.

Like the CNN debate, in order to qualify for the ABC debate candidates must be polling above 15% in four separate national polls and appear on a sufficient number of state ballots, leaving open the possibility that Kennedy could end up on the debate stage if his polling improves and he makes it on the ballot in more states by the fall.

To be determined: vice-presidential debate

A vice-presidential debate is also expected to take place before early voting begins in September, with both campaigns expressing interest in a debate between Vice President Kamala Harris and the soon-to-be-announced Trump running mate.

The Biden campaign said on May 16 that it had accepted an invitation from CBS News to participate in a vice-presidential debate on either July 23 or Aug. 13.

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Write to Nik Popli at nik.popli@time.com