The first presidential debate, which begins tonight at 9, will be watched by an estimated 100 million people tuning in via television as well as Facebook and Twitter livestreams.
The debate is broken up into six segments running 15 minutes each. The moderator, NBC’s Lester Holt, will ask a question and the candidates will each have two minutes to reply and then more time to respond to each other.
Viewers should look out for several key things in tonight’s debate.
The Commission on Presidential Debates announced its tentative topics on Sept. 19, stating Holt will probe the candidates on their policies regarding the direction this nation is taking, achieving prosperity and securing the U.S., though the topics are subject to change based of news developments.
Viewers should expect both candidates to expand upon their plans to boost the U.S. economy and create more jobs. Clinton may lob an attack at Trump’s claims to bring jobs back to the states since his neckties are made in China and his shirts in Bangladesh.
Clinton was able to avoid many questions regarding her email scandal in the Democratic primary debates due to Bernie Sanders’ now-famous quote: “The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails.”
However, she will not be afforded the same treatment tonight. Trump will more than likely take advantage of the lack of trust held toward his opponent by drawing attention to the issue and the FBI finding her “extremely careless” in handling her private emails.
In fact, the issue of trust should be a major component of tonight’s debate. Viewers can expect the recent focus on the candidates’ health and the stance-swinging of both nominees to be brought up by either Holt or the candidates themselves.
After the candidates outlined some of their safety and military policies at the Commander-in-Chief Forum on Sept. 7, Holt will not have to examine the foundation of their policies. Instead, he can focus on more specific questions regarding security, many of which will regard the handling of the Islamic State.