Presidential debate: Some of the rules include mic muting, no notes, and a coin flip

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have agreed to debate on June 27, and last week they agreed to the rules.

The debate will be held in Atlanta. It will last 90 minutes and include two commercial breaks. There will be no studio audience.

Other rules include:

  • Campaign staff may not interact with their candidate.
  • The candidates will appear at a uniform podium.
  • Their podium positions will be determined by a coin flip.
  • Microphones will be muted throughout the debate except for the candidate whose turn it is to speak.
  • While no props or pre-written notes will be allowed on the stage, candidates will be given a pen, a pad of paper and a bottle of water.

Is there a chance anyone else will participate in the debate?

It is unlikely that anyone else will qualify to be included in the debate. In addition to being eligible to serve as president and to have filed the necessary paperwork to be included on ballots, 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.

Polls that meet those standards are those sponsored by CNN, ABC News, CBS News, Fox News, Marquette University Law School, Monmouth University, NBC News, The New York Times/Siena College, NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist College, Quinnipiac University, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.

Trump and Biden have met those requirements. Robert Kennedy Jr. has reached at least 15% on three national polls. He is on the ballot in six states currently, making him eligible for 89 Electoral College votes.

That debate will be the first of two that Trump and Biden have agreed to. The second debate will be broadcast Sept. 10.


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