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Will Trump and Clinton be able to answer America’s questions?
Though dubious flash polls on some news sites may indicate otherwise, Trump is widely considered to have lost the first debate. Even many of his allies agree. All eyes will be on Trump to see whether he sinks or floats during the second matchup, which will be a town hall hosted by ABC’s Martha Raddatz and CNN’s Anderson Cooper. The second debate’s town hall style will call for the candidates to answer questions from audience members.
Not only will the candidates be outnumbered by the people asking the questions, but the presence of two moderators (one male, one female) could change the pace of the interruptions that plagued the first two debates, as well as even out the gender balance. The optics of Raddatz interrupting Clinton will be far different from Cooper interrupting Clinton or Trump interrupting Raddatz, for example. Trump has gone to battle with journalists throughout his campaign, including Fox’s Megyn Kelly, Univision’s Jorge Ramos, and Cooper at the CNN GOP Town Hall earlier this year.
It’s worth noting that for the first time in presidential debate history, the internet will get to participate. In the style of Change.org, Americans will submit and vote on questions at PresidentialOpenQuestions.com. CNN and ABC have promised to consider (not necessarily ask) the 30 most popular questions for inclusion in the debate.
Asking for questions from the internet sounds like a dangerous idea, but as the Atlantic notes, it’s worked well in the past. A similiar “open debate”-style experiment took place in April in a debate between Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) and Rep. David Jolly (R-FL) for Florida’s open Senate seat. The most popular questions submitted by the public included ones on taxes, abortion, and the environment.
The most popular question on PresidentialOpenQuestions.com as of Friday was one on criminal background checks for gun control, which was submitted by the father of a victim of the 2014 Santa Barbara shooting.
Here’s everything else you need to know about the second presidential debate:
When and where is the second presidential debate?
The second presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is on Sunday, Oct. 9, at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. It starts at 9pm ET.
Like the previous two debates, the second presidential debate will be 90 minutes long with no commercial breaks.
How can I watch the second presidential debate?
The event will be broadcast on all major U.S. networks and several cable news channels. This includes ABC, CBS, Fox, C-SPAN, MSNBC, CNN, Univision, PBS, and CNBC.
You can also catch the second presidential debate on the websites of the aforementioned networks.
How can I stream the second presidential debate?
Similar to the first presidential debate, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter will stream the second presidential debate. You’ll also be able to catch a livestream on the websites of all the major news networks mentioned above.
How do they pick the audience members who get to attend the second presidential debate?
The audience members will be undecided voters handpicked by Gallup.
What is the format of the second presidential debate ?
Half of the questions will be asked by the audience members at the debate, and the other half will be asked by the moderators, Raddatz and Cooper.
Candidates will have two minutes to respond to each question and then there will be another minute for the moderators to ask followup questions and advance the debate.
How do I get to submit my questions to the second presidential debate?
You can submit and vote on questions at PresidentialOpenQuestions.com.
Amrita Khalid is a technology and politics reporter who specializes in breaking down complex issues into practical, useful terms. A former contributor to CQ, a Congressional news and analysis site, she's currently a master's candidate in international relations at the University of Leeds.