Muted mics confirmed: What to expect at the final Trump-Biden presidential debate


President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden will hit the stage one more time at the final presidential debate this week.

After an unpredictable series of presidential debates in this election cycle, the stakes will be high for Thursday night’s event, with both candidates having one final chance to make their case to voters, less than two weeks before Election Day.

The second and final debate will notably include segments in which both candidates will have their mics muted, a decision announced by event organizers to prevent interruptions following a highly contentious first debate.

Here’s what you need to know about the final presidential debate.

When and where will the event take place?

The event will take place on Thursday, Oct. 22 in Nashville, Tennessee at Belmont University. It will be moderated by NBC’s Kristen Welker.

Where can you watch?

Tune in to listen or watch the debates on RADIO.COM or the RADIO.COM app.

What will the format be?

The format of the final Trump-Biden debate will be similar to the first: Six segments, each one focusing on one topic, in which the candidates will have two minutes each to respond to the moderator’s question, before an extended conversation diving deeper into each subject.

What are the topics?

The Commission on Presidential Debates announced the six topics for the final debate on Friday. They are:

—Fighting COVID-19
—American Families
—Race in America
—Climate Change
—National Security

The topics are subject to possible changes because of news developments, the commission said.

Will there be COVID-19 safety measures put in place?

It is unclear if safety measures put into effect at the vice presidential debate between Mike Pence and Kamala Harris — namely, situating the candidates 12 feet away from each other and installing plexiglass dividers — will be put into effect during the last Trump-Biden debate.

Will any other new rules take effect?

On Monday, the CPD announced that Trump and Biden will have their microphones cut off in Thursday's debate while their opponent gives their initial two-minute response to each of the debate topics.

While the open discussion portion of each topic will not feature a mute button, interruptions by either of candidates will count toward the other's time.

After the first debate, which many criticized for the candidates’ frequent interruptions and talking over one another, the CPD announced that it was adding “additional tools to maintain order” to the upcoming debates. The commission said the changes would “ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues.”

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