Tonight’s Commander-in-Chief Forum will air live on MSNBC at 8 p.m. ET and will be simulcast live on NBC in most markets. Some NBC affiliates in the Mountain and Pacific time zones will air the broadcast on tape-delay. If you’re in one of those time zones, check your local listing. The event will also air on NBC in its entirety at 8 p.m. PT and 9 p.m. MT. NBC will air the forum in Alaska at 7:00 p.m. (AKST) and in Hawaii at 7:00 p.m. (HST). For a full list of NBC affiliates, click here.
The forum, featuring Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, is being dubbed the “first joint candidate event of the general election.” The candidates will go back-to-back to take questions on national security and military affairs from NBC’s Matt Lauer and from members of the audience, which will be comprised of military veterans and active service members.
The forum is sponsored by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.
The one-hour forum will enable both candidates to discuss national security, veteran issues, military affairs and strategic policies. Clinton and Trump are trying to win votes as the window before Election Day quickly closes. The forum is the only joint appearance scheduled before the first states begin early voting.
The event is not related to the three presidential debates, with the the first of those scheduled for September 26 at Hofstra University in New York.
START TIME: The event will air live on MSNBC across the country at 8 p.m. Eastern. A simulcast will air on NBC at 8 p.m. Eastern (7 p.m. Central). Some affiliates in the Mountain and Pacific time zones will air the broadcast on tape-delay. If you’re in one of those time zones, check your local listing. If you’re in Alaska and Hawaii, NBC will air the forum at 7:00 p.m. For a full list of NBC affiliates, click here.
TV CHANNEL: MSNBC (nationwide live broadcast); NBC (live broadcast in the Eastern and Central time zones; tape-delayed broadcast in the Mountain and Pacific time zones.)
PARTICIPANTS: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump
MODERATOR: Matt Lauer
LOCATION: The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City
LIVE STREAM: Viewers with access to a cable or satellite subscription can watch the forum live on the MSNBC website. Click here to access the stream. Viewers in the United States who don’t have cable can watch via Sling TV. Click here for a full rundown of streaming options.
PREVIEW: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will take the stage back-to-back to answer questions separately from an audience comprised mainly of military veterans and active service members. It marks the first time this campaign that both Clinton and Trump are appearing at the same event.
In contrast to the presidential debates, each candidate will have to sit for an extended interview, with Clinton speaking ahead of Trump. The order was determined by a coin toss by Dafna Linzer, managing editor for NBC News and MSNBC since both candidates stated a preference to be the second candidate to appear, according to NBC.
Polls are showing a significant narrowing of the gap between Trump, and Clinton. A Morning Consult poll released on Sunday showed Clinton up by two points– just three weeks ago, she had a seven-point lead in the same poll.
According to a NBC News SurveyMonkey online poll released today, Trump is favored among voters who are currently serving or have previously served in the U.S. military, leading Clinton by 19 points. Fifty-five percent said they would feel confident in Trump’s ability to serve as an effective commander-in-chief of the U.S. military to Clinton’s 36 percent.
The past two Republican presidential candidates were also favored among military members. At the same phase in the presidential election cycle in 2008, John McCain had a 22-point lead among veterans, and Mitt Romney held a 24-point advantage in 2012, according to Five Thirty Eight.
Trump is also perceived more favorably when it comes to handling veterans voting issues. He holds a 53 to 28 percent lead over Clinton among military and veteran voters. Among voters overall, Trump does slightly better than Clinton (40 percent to 39 percent).
However, the poll shows more voters trust Clinton over Trump concerning the use of nuclear weapons. Clinton holds a one-point lead over Trump among military and veteran voters and a 20-point lead over Trump of all registered voters.
In a poll of active duty military and veterans from July, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson led by over 6 points. The former governor finished at 36.7%, while Trump received 30.7% and Clinton only 15.1%. However, Johnson was not invited to participate in the Commander in Chief Forum.
On Tuesday, a group of 88 retired generals and admirals signed a letter backing Trump to reverse the “hollowing out” of the U.S. military. However, only 10 percent of Gov. Mitt Romney’s military endorsements from the 2012 election appear on the letter, according to NBC. Romney had 354 retired generals and admirals on his “military advisor council,” with only 36 of them listed on Trump’s letter.
Clinton’s campaign announced Wednesday that 95 retired generals and admirals have endorsed her presidential run.