Tonight’s Trump v. Clinton II debate will draw huge ratings.
Donald Trump has had the worst 24 hours in the history of presidential campaign politics but he is still standing. Tonight his political life depends on his performance against his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, in their second debate.
The first debate drew 84 million viewers and tonight that number could be exceeded in second presidential debate that airs live tonight from Washington University in St. Louis.Like the first debate, there are six sections that focus on the six topics announced the week prior to the debate. Each segment is 15 minutes long and after the question is given by the mediator, each candidate has two minutes to respond to the question, then to each other. Tonight’s debate, according to NBCNews.com will be mediated by Martha Raddatz, Chief Global Affairs Correspondent and Co-Anchor of ABC’s This Week, and CNN Anchor, Anderson Cooper.
The debate will begin at 8 p.m. EST and viewers can tune in to C-SPAN, ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC to watch as it airs. The live stream will also be available through some of the networks’ websites, as well as on YouTube. The presidential debate central time is 7 p.m. and the presidential debate pacific time / presidential debate PST is 5 p.m.
The debate format is unusual and presents lots of pitfalls for both candidates.
There are two moderators (ABC’s Martha Raddatz and CNN’s Anderson Cooper), but half the questions will come from ordinary voters.
That makes the town hall debate format tricky.
It’s harder to attack your opponent in a room full of real people who want you to tell them how you will make their lives better. And any question from a voter has the presumption of validity — making it hard to ignore or to pivot away to boilerplate speech chunks or talking points (a favorite tactic of presidential candidates).
But both campaigns claim this is a great format for their candidate.
Trump has spent more hours in front of a T.V. camera than any Republican presidential candidate other than Ronald Reagan. Even so, Trump’s “practice town hall” in Sandown, N.H. on Thursday night did not show that Trump has learned how to connect with people the way a town hall format demands.
The audience was handpicked supporters, the questions were vetted, friendly and read from notecards by the moderator.
The Clinton campaign says the town hall format is a good one for Hillary Clinton since she prefers small listening sessions and roundtables with small businesspeople or working moms over big set piece speeches at rallies.
But most of the questions she gets in those forums are friendly softballs.
Clinton has been preparing diligently — as usual — for this debate. She presumably is working on better answers to questions about her emails, the WikiLeaks revelations and the line that was the most effective for Trump in the first debate — that he represents change and she is the staus quo.
VIDEO COURTESY OF CNN AND NEWSMAX