Tonight is the 2020 vice presidential debate, with Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris facing each other on the debate stage for the first time. So just how long is the debate tonight? When does it end? Read on for more details, and see an embedded video for watching the debate live right here.
The Debate Is Scheduled to Last 90 Minutes, but It Might Go a Little Longer
Tonight’s debate begins at 9 p.m. Eastern time and is scheduled to end at 10:30 p.m. Eastern time. (That’s 8 to 9:30 p.m. Central time, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Mountain time and 6 to 7:30 p.m. Pacific time.)
Just as they did for last week’s first presidential debate, most of the major TV stations have scheduled an additional 30 minutes for broadcasting tonight’s debate, allowing for it to go until 11 p.m. Eastern time if needed. The Democratic debates were known for sometimes going long with so many people on stage. Although you might expect the one-on-one debates to stay closer to their allotted time, this doesn’t always happen. The debate’s length depends on how long the moderator takes for followups and how well the moderator keeps the candidates within their designated times to answer and respond. Typically, candidates are given two minutes to respond to questions and then they are allowed to discuss the topic back-and-forth more in-depth.
During last week’s presidential debate, the final segment of the debate started just a few minutes before 10:30 p.m. Eastern time, which was the original time the debate was scheduled to end. So just as last week’s debate ended up going long, it’s possible that this week’s vice presidential debate could go a few minutes long too.
The designated hour-and-a-half is divided into nine 10-minute segments.
The event will be 90 minutes of pure debating without commercial interruption. It will be aired on practically every major broadcast channel, from CNN to Fox News to MSNBC and local stations in many locations. Ratings are expected to be huge.
You can watch the debate in the stream below from C-SPAN.
The debate is hosted by the University of Utah.
Susan Page, USA Today Washington Bureau chief, is moderating tonight’s debate.
What’s Next After Tonight?
After tonight, the second presidential debate is scheduled for Thursday, October 15, at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County. The moderator for this debate will be Steve Scully of C-SPAN. This debate will be in a town hall format.
Although President Donald Trump has tested positive for COVID-19, he has said that he still plans to attend the debate. Former Vice President Joe Biden has said there shouldn’t be a second debate if Trump still tests positive, The Hill reported. He said the debate should follow all health protocols and he’ll ultimately follow the guidelines issued by the Cleveland Clinic, which is overseeing the debates.
The third presidential debate is scheduled for Thursday, October 22, at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. The moderator for this debate will be Kristen Welker of NBC.
Each debate will be 90 minutes long without commercial interruption.