Here’s what to know about the presidential debate and how to watch it

Four years after last facing off against each other, President Biden will debate former President Trump on June 27 at 9 p.m. EDT.

Trump and Biden decided to flout the Commission on Presidential Debates to debate each other far earlier than is normal for a presidential election. The second debate is scheduled Sept. 10, hosted by ABC.

In recent days, Trump has said he does “not want to underestimate Biden.” He and his supporters have also begun to lay the groundwork to dismiss Biden’s performance in the debate, spreading the baseless claim that he’s using performance enhancers. Biden is seeking a turning point after months of negative coverage of his age and lackluster poll numbers.

Biden, 81, and Trump, 78, both of whom are the oldest presumptive nominees in the nation’s history, go into the debate with national polls largely showing them neck and neck.

Trump has a 58 percent chance of winning the presidency compared to Biden’s 42 percent chance, per Decision Desk HQ and The Hill’s presidential election forecast. Here’s what you need to know:

Who is hosting this debate? 

CNN will host the debate in Atlanta, with CNN anchors and co-hosts of Sunday show “State of the Union” Jake Tapper and Dana Bash moderating the debate.

There will be no audience at the debate.

How do I watch the debate? 

The debate will air live on CNN, CNN International, CNN en Español, and CNN Max.

For those without a cable subscription, the debate will be streaming on

Other networks plan to simulcast the broadcast, including PBS News, NBC News, ABC News, CBS News, Fox News, Newsmax.

What are the rules for this debate?

Microphones will be muted throughout the debate except when it’s that candidate’s turn to speak. The moderators are also empowered to “use all tools at the disposal to enforce timing and ensure a civilized discussion.”

Biden and Trump have both agreed to the rules.

The 2020 election debates between Trump and Biden were marred by interruptions and arguments, and moderators had difficulty reining in both candidates.

Biden will stand on the right of the stage, while Trump will get the last word at the debate. Speaking order and podium position was decided by a coin flip between both candidates.

What were the qualification requirements, and why did RFK Jr. not qualify?

A candidate had to fulfill the requirements to be president under Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution, which requires that a candidate be 35 years old and a natural-born citizen of the U.S.

They also had to file a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), and a candidate’s name must appear on a sufficient number of state ballots to reach the 270 electoral vote threshold prior to the eligibility deadline.

They must also have received at least 15 percent in four separate national polls of registered or likely voters.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. did not qualify for the debate, and he filed a complaint with the FEC alleging that Biden, Trump, and CNN were illegally working together to keep him off the debate stage. Jill Stein of the Green Party has also submitted an FEC complaint.

Kennedy has claimed that he will appear on enough state ballots to qualify for 310 electoral votes, but many of those states will not confirm that Kennedy is eligble for their state ballots until much later in the election cycle.

Initially published on June 21 and updated with new information on June 26.

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