DemDaily: Update on Tonight’s VP Debate!

October 7, 2020

Tonight Senator Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence will go head-to-head in Salt Lake City, Utah, in the only vice presidential debate of the 2020 election.

(Caroline Amenabar/NPR)

Although the two on stage are running for Vice President, the debate is likely to focus on those not present - Biden and Trump.

One can expect Harris to focus on the Trump-Pence administration's mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic, while Pence will attempt to paint a liberal Biden-Harris ticket.

While there are no shortage of crises to address, this is also an opportunity for both to speak to how we as a country can rebuild America  -- and move past the indelible image of last week's disastrous presidential debate that so dishonored the election process.

2020 Vice Presidential Debate

October 7, 2020, Wednesday
Time: 9:00pm - 10:30pm ET. The debate will last 90 minutes with no commercial breaks
Location:  Salt Lake City, Utah
Moderator: Susan Page, USA Today Washington Bureau Chief
Candidates: US Senator and Democratic Vice Presidential nominee
Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence
How To Watch: The debate will be shown live on every major network and cable news channel, including ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, CNN, MSNBC. Streamed on YouTube, NPR, C-SPAN.

USA Today Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page will moderate the debate, which will be divided into nine 10-minute sections. Each candidate will have two minutes to respond to the opening question in each segment.


The university offered a lottery for fewer than 100 University of Utah students to attend, who will be spaced out with required face masks.

Out of further precaution, particularly following the September 26th White House super-spreader event which has now infected the President, First Lady, and 18 senior staff and aides, there will be a plexiglass partition separating Vice President Pence and Senator Harris.

On the divider, which was requested by the Biden-Harris campaign, Pence spokesperson Katie Miller told Politico, "If Senator Harris wants to use a fortress around herself, have at it."

Let's hope that is not setting the tone for the evening.

In response to events of the September 29th presidential debate between Trump and Biden, which was marred by undisciplined interruptions and insults by the President, and "to ensure that additional tools to maintain order are in place for the remaining debates," the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) announced it will be making changes to the format.
A key change: Future moderators would have the power to cut off the microphones of President Trump or Joe Biden for rule violations. Final plans TBA.

Next Up!
2020 Second Presidential Debate
Date:   October 15, 2020, Thursday
Time:   9:00pm - 10:30pm ET
Location:  Miami, Florida
Host:  Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts
Moderator:  Steve Scully, Senior Executive Producer and Political Editor at the C-SPAN Networks
Candidates:  Former Vice President and Democratic
Presidential Nominee Joe Biden and President Donald Trump

(Katty Huertas/NBC News)

2020 Third Presidential Debate

Date:   October 22, 2020, Thursday
Time:   9:00pm - 10:30pm ET
Location:  Nashville, Tennessee
Host:  Belmont University
Moderator:  Kristen Welker, Co-Anchor of NBC's Weekend TODAY & NBC News White House correspondent
Candidates:  Former Vice President and Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden and President Donald Trump


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Kimberly Scott

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Sources: NPR, Vox, CBS, Politico, CPD
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