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US Presidential Election 2024 : Trump and Biden Set for First Debate Today

US President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are set to face off in their first presidential debate today, signaling the start of their showdown later this year. Hosted by CNN in Atlanta, the debate will begin at 9 pm on Thursday (local time) and 6:30 am on Friday in Indian Standard Time (IST). […]

Trump, Biden to face off in first presidential debate today
Trump, Biden to face off in first presidential debate today

US President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are set to face off in their first presidential debate today, signaling the start of their showdown later this year. Hosted by CNN in Atlanta, the debate will begin at 9 pm on Thursday (local time) and 6:30 am on Friday in Indian Standard Time (IST).

This early debate, taking place before the Republican and Democratic conventions in July and August, marks a historic moment as it is the first time a sitting president and an ex-president will debate so early in the race. The debate will last 90 minutes with two commercial breaks and will not have a live studio audience, unlike previous debates.

Polling indicates that over 70 percent of American voters plan to watch the high-stakes event. Biden launched his re-election campaign in April 2023, framing the contest against Trump as a “stark choice” for voters between maintaining democracy in America and its potential “destruction” under Trump. At 80 years old, Biden is the oldest president to hold office and would be 86 by the end of a second term. Concerns about his age are more significant than those about Trump, who, if elected, would become the oldest president before the end of his term.

Trump, who announced his campaign to return to the White House in November 2022, aims to become the second president to win two non-consecutive terms. He continues to deny the 2020 election results and faces criminal charges in four cases, including two related to election interference. In May, Trump was found guilty of all charges in his New York hush money criminal trial.

The debate comes as Americans seek relief from high prices and face new foreign policy challenges amid ongoing conflicts in Europe and the Middle East. Issues like immigration, gun laws, and abortion are also sharply divided between the two leaders.

This debate will be the third between Biden and Trump, following two in the lead-up to the 2020 elections. It is considered more critical because a larger portion of the electorate is undecided. Biden’s campaign slogan, “Let’s finish this job,” emphasizes continuing his first term’s work, including defending abortion rights, protecting America’s global image, preserving democracy, and addressing climate change.

Trump has pledged to overhaul parts of the federal government, cut social safety net programs, seek retribution against political opponents, and appoint a special prosecutor to target Biden and his family. He strongly advocates for border security, claiming that migrant flow is “poisoning” the US and has vowed to reinstate his travel ban on specific Muslim countries. Trump has also asserted that he can end the Russia-Ukraine conflict in “one day” and is known as a strong supporter of Israel.

A CNN Poll of Polls shows a close race, with 49 percent support for Trump and 47 percent for Biden. According to Politico, Biden needs to demonstrate vitality to win over skeptics, while Trump must appear coherent and win back moderates who supported Nikki Haley in the GOP primary.

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2024 US Presidential ElectionsDonald TrumpJoe BidenTDG TheDailyGuardian