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  • A poster informing of the first 2020 presidential debate taking place Tuesday at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. September 29, 2020.

    A poster informing of the first 2020 presidential debate taking place Tuesday at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. September 29, 2020. | Photo: EFE/Lucia Leal

Published 29 September 2020
Opinion

The first of three live presidential debates takes place tonight at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, a major battleground state.

U.S. President Donald Trump and former Vice President and Democratic nominee Joe Biden face off tonight in the first of three presidential debates leading up to the U.S. presidential elections November 3. The debate will be moderated by Fox News anchor Chris Wallace.

The topics discussed will be the two candidates' records, the current vacancy on the Supreme Court, COVID-19, the U.S. economy, race and violence in U.S. cities, and the integrity of the elections. Other anticipated topics are the current release of Trump's tax returns, showing he only a mere $750 in taxes last year. 

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Biden, who is leading in national polls and, more importantly, in four battleground states, hopes to win over voters and assume the Oval Office by critiquing Trump's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, his fast-track nomination of conservative juror Amy Coney-Barrett to the Supreme Court, and the disastrous  state in which poor and working people find themselves in the midst of the largest economic decline since the Great Depression.

Trump, who has been holding large campaign rallies with most participants unmasked and close together, hopes to use the slight increase in job creation and a scapregoating of China to minimize these issues and label any liberal or progressive recovery measure as socialist or aligned with Bernie Sanders.

The debate itself has been characterized by Trump consistently cutting off both the moderator and Biden, making wild claims which still need to be fact-checked afterwards. Biden, on the other hand, despite lacking compelling proposals or alternatives, has held his own, telling Trump to respect his allotted time to speak and calling Trump out on his lies.
 
Featuring heavily in the debates are claims from both sides of fake news, unreliable information sources and made-up figures, from everything to manufacturing levels, relations with China, family corruption and release dates of the COVID-19 vaccine. 
 
The next debate will be a vice-presidential debate taking place next Wednesday October 7 at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah and will be moderated by Susan Page of USA Today. The next presidential debate will take place on Thursday October 15 at the Adrienne Arscht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida and will be a town-hall style disucssion moderated by Steve Scully on C-SPAN.
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