Will There Be Commercials During the Vice Presidential Debate?

Tim Kaine

Tim Kaine speaks during a campaign rally in Miami, Florida. (Getty)

Vice presidential candidates Tim Kaine and Mike Pence are about to debate for the first and only time, one week after the debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. How long will this event be, and will it have commercial breaks?

Like the first presidential debate, the VP debate on October 4th will be 90 minutes long, and that will once again be 90 commercial-free minutes. There are no breaks whatsoever during the vice presidential debate.

This is in contrast to the debates that took place during the presidential primaries, which had normal commercial breaks and would sometimes last up to three hours with all of these interruptions. During the fall, though, the Commission on Presidential Debates takes over running these events, and debates that they hold do not have ads.

The vice presidential debate will take place at Longwood University in Virginia, eight days after Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump went head-to-head. It begins at 9:00 p.m. and ends at roughly 10:30 p.m. Eastern Time, although it might go a bit over depending on if candidates speak for longer than their allotted time.

The format is a bit different from the first presidential debate; while both are 90 minutes, the VP debate consists of nine segments, each lasting approximately 10 minutes, according to the Commission on Presidential Debates. (The first debate consisted of six segments of 15 minutes each, so there was a bit more time to let the candidates talk among one another.) Segments are to begin with a question asked by moderator Elaine Quijano, and the candidates then have two minutes to respond.

For both Tim Kaine and Mike Pence, this is an opportunity to introduce themselves to the American people. Although Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are both colorful characters, Kaine and Pence are not as much, and nearly half of Americans can’t name the vice presidential nominees, according to ABC News.

The vice presidential debate will air on October 4th on most major networks including CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox and C-SPAN. The next debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton takes place on October 9th.

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