US presidential debate: How many presidential debates are there?

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On November 3 the US will take to the polls for one of the most significant elections of a generation. President Donald Trump is seeking another term in office, but he is facing strong competition from Democratic nominee and ex-Vice President under the Obama administration, Joe Biden. In the weeks leading up to the vote, the US will get to see the contenders go head-to-head in a series of live TV debates – has all you need to know.

When is the first debate?

Joe Biden and Donald Trump’s first debate will take place today (Tuesday, September 29).

The timing of the first debate is five weeks before Americans head to the polls, and it will take place in Cleveland, Ohio.

The debate will take place at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic.

Mr Trump told reporters on Monday at the White House: “I am looking very forward to the debate.”

A hot topic during Tuesday’s debate is likely to be the issue of Mr Trump’s taxes, which has dominated the headlines this week.

The New York Times reported Mr Trump only paid $750 in federal income taxes in both 2016 and 2017.

The publication stated Mr Trump reported heavy businesses losses to offset hundreds of millions of dollars in income.

Mr Trump responded to the report on social media, labelling it “fake news”.

He tweeted: “The Fake News Media, just like Election time 2016, is bringing up my Taxes & all sorts of other nonsense with illegally obtained information & only bad intent.

“I paid many millions of dollars in taxes but was entitled, like everyone else, to depreciation & tax credits…..”

Other issues likely to be topics of debate will include the Supreme Court following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, race and violence in the US, coronavirus and the integrity of the election.

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How many presidential debates will there be?

Three presidential debates are scheduled for this election, and one debate is also scheduled between the vice-presidential candidates.

After Tuesday’s debate, the second debate will be held at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida on October 15.

The third and final debate between the presidential nominees takes place in Nashville, Tennessee at the Curb Event Center, Belmont University on October 22.

On October 7 Democratic nominee Kamala Harris and Republican nominee Mike Pence will take part in a vice-presidential debate at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

Who is leading in the polls?

Many a US presidential candidate could have won an election based on the popular vote, but in the US elections are decided by the Electoral College vote system.

Each state is assigned a number of electoral college votes, and a few states known as ‘swing states’ are often crucial in any US election win.

Generally, most polls are currently indicating a Democratic win in this election, with Mr Biden polling ahead of Mr Trump in a number of key battleground swing states.

According to the Financial Times poll, Mr Biden would win 275 electoral college votes if an election was held today, while Mr Trump would win 125.

According to CNN’s Poll of Polls on September 28, Mr Biden is in the lead with 51 percent, while Mr Trump is polling at 43 percent.

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