2020’s final presidential debate tonight: Time, how to watch, and more

President Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden will face-off for their second debate Thursday night in Nashville — their final showdown, 12 days before Election Day.

With the 2020 contest in the balance, both candidates are expected to take their best shots to try to damage their opponent and score any lasting points, even as millions of voters have already cast ballots either by mail or in-person early voting.

Trump is expected to press Biden on his son Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine and China as revealed in The Post’s articles last Wednesday.

Biden is sure to hammer the president on his administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 220,000 Americans and make a pitch to unite a politically charged and divided country.

To try to keep the discussions civil and and limit the interruptions that marred the first debate last month in Cleveland, the Commission on Presidential Debates will mute each candidate as the other answers questions posed at the beginning of each segment.

Here’s what you need to know about the debate:

Tonight’s Trump-Biden debate start and end time

The 90-minute debate will run from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. without commercial interruption.

It will be held at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn.

Who is the moderator?

NBC News’ White House correspondent and co-anchor of “Weekend Today” Kristen Welker.

What is the format?

The debate will be broken into six 15-minute segments, each covering a different topic selected by Welker.

The candidates will have two minutes each to respond to Welker’s question and then the topic will be under discussion.

One notable change, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced that the candidates will be muted as the other gives his two-minute remarks at the beginning of each segment after the first debate was marked by both candidates interrupting and talking over one another.

The mics will be turned on during the discussion.

There will be no opening or closing statements.

What topics has moderator Kristen Welker chosen to cover?

Fighting the coronavirus, American families, race in America, climate change, national security and leadership.

How to watch the presidential debate tonight

As with the other debates, it will air on all of the networks – ABC, CBS and NBC – and the major cable channels – CNN, MSNBC, Fox and C-Span. It will also stream online on YouTube, Hulu, AT&T TV and Sling.

How did the debate change because of coronavirus?

Trump and Biden will not shake hands at the beginning of the contest and will remain seated 12 feet apart on the stage. They will not have to wear masks.

The candidates’ families and members of their campaigns will be seated in the audience.

They will be required to wear masks.

How have Trump and Biden been preparing?

Biden has been holed up in his Wilmington, Del., home and hasn’t had a scheduled campaign event since Sunday evening.

A campaign adviser told CNN that the candidate is huddling with his staff and advisers and is prepared for the president to “bully and deflect” during the face-off.

In contrast, Trump continued on his grueling campaign schedule, speaking at rallies in Nevada, Arizona, Pennsylvania and North Carolina since Sunday.

He has another string of rallies lined up for after the debate in the final days of the election.

What happened to the original second debate?

It was scrapped after Trump declined to take part in a virtual contest.

The president tested positive two days after the first debate on Sept. 29 and received treatment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

It was scheduled for Oct. 15 in Miami.

Instead, both candidates held town halls on the same evening — Trump on NBC and Biden on ABC.


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