What’s the Format of the Vice Presidential Debate?

Mike Pence rally, mike pence speech, mike pence ohio

Mike Pence speaks at a Donald Trump rally in Toledo, Ohio. (Getty)

One week after the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the candidates’ running mates are about to face off for the first time at Longwood University in Virginia. What’s the format of the event?

The VP debate will be structured a bit differently than the presidential debate. According to the Commission on Presidential Debates, the hour-and-a-half event will consist of nine segments, each lasting about 10 minutes. Those segments will all open with a question, which both candidates have two minutes to answer. The remaining six minutes or so will be devoted to followup questions and to a back and forth between Mike Pence and Tim Kaine.

For comparison, the Trump/Clinton debate at Hofstra University was also 90 minutes, but it consisted of six 15 minute segments, so the VP debate will be attempting to work through more material in the same amount of time.

Like the presidential debate, though, the vice presidential debate will also be presented without commercial interruption. You have plenty of ways to watch it, as it will air on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, ABC, NBC, Fox, and C-SPAN.

The stakes for the VP debate are not quite as high as they were for Trump and Clinton’s first encounter on Monday, but since there is only one vice presidential debate, these two candidates only have this chance to make an impression on voters. And because both presidential candidates are up there in years, Hillary Clinton being 68 and Donald Trump being 70, some extra scrutiny has been placed on Mike Pence and Tim Kaine in the past few weeks.

The moderator of the vice presidential debate will be CBS News’ Elaine Quijano. This is her first time moderating a debate, and she is also the first Asian American to do so. All questions will be chosen by her and her alone, with none of the questions being seen beforehand by the Commission on Presidential Debates or by either campaign.

Unlike September 26th’s event, this time both of the candidates on stage will have gone through debate prep. According to ABC News, both Pence and Kaine have been preparing extensively for Tuesday night, taking time off the campaign trail to hold mock sessions.


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i’m glad there’s a slightly dif format. at least the mod can be held more accountable. but this could also be a problem if bias, like the one before. perhaps half mod, half audience. and there should also be a flag and a timer that automatically disconnects the opponents mic when one speaking, and also when one’s time runs out. with the option for the mod to override the effects at the press of some buttons, imho. this would make them respect the format more; ie keep in the alloted time slot, and don’t interrupt each other senselessly. the only problem is no-one really cares about the vprezes. age inc prob, or not…


Mike Pence was one out of the blue pics! That I’d ever seen the only word to describe it, brilliant ! . Mike Pence has an outstanding legal background -1 he has some impressive legal achievements in his career . Mike Pence exactly what this country needs to untwist the unconstitutional law rhetoric laid out by the Obama! Clinton! Administration! It’s going to be some, tough work ahead of him, that’s for sure,But! One step at a time! Let’s win the White House !! We all need to dig in,and get tough now !! No turning back! Straightforward! Together we can all do this! The ox is in the hole on Sunday and we need to go get her out ! . We need our Republic ! We need our Stars and Stripes!! We need God Bless America!! So, let’s get to work and get this job done ! Vote Donald J Trump ! Mike Pence ! 2016.

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