Presidential candidates face off in final democratic debate tonight

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A member of the production crew stands at a podium near glass barriers to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on stage ahead of the final presidential debate between Republican candidate President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, in Nashville, Tenn. The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) announced Monday that the candidates will have their microphones temporarily cut off while their opponent is delivering. The debate will take place Thursday, Oct. 22 at the Curb Event Center at Belmont University. Photo courtesy of Julio Cortez / AP Photo.

President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are scheduled to attend the final democratic debate tonight with new rules in place. 

After a back and forth of interruption during the first debate, the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) announced Monday that the candidates will have their microphones temporarily cut off while their opponent is delivering. 

In the debate commission’s statement, the organization assured the changes were implemented after considering the “opinion of many who expressed concern the [first] debate fell short of expectations, depriving voters of the opportunity to be informed of the candidates’ positions on the issues.” 

The 90-minute debate will take place at Nashville’s Belmont University and will be moderated by the NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker, who previously co-anchored a Democratic debate in 2019 with MSNBC.  

Many are wondering if Welker will be able to regain control of the candidates, unlike Fox News’ Chris Wallace, who moderated the first regular presidential debate last month.  

Similar to the first debate, the presidential candidates will face questions split into six segments of 15 minutes each on topics chosen by Welker.  

Questions that may take light in the debate include hot-button topics such as fighting COVID-19, American families, race in America and climate change.  

With less than two weeks until the presidential election, this debate is likely President Trump’s final chance to persuade voters as Biden leads with 9 points in the polls over the president.  

The candidates will again skip the traditional handshake prior to the event and won’t be wearing masks on stage, but audience members will be required to do so.  

After testing positive for the coronavirus, President Trump turned down attending a second debate after a decision was made to host the debate virtually. 

The debate is set to air commercial free at 9 p.m. Eastern on all major TV networks such as ABC, CBS, CNN, C-SPAN, Fox, MSNBC and NBC. Individuals can also view the debate live on YouTube and streaming services such as Hulu with Live TV.  

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