The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) stated on July 27, 2020, that the University of Notre Dame has withdrawn from hosting the first presidential debate on September 29, 2020. CPD has announced that the first presidential debate will instead be co-hosted by Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic and held at the Health Education Campus (HEC) in Cleveland, OH. Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic have collaborated on the HEC, a joint project where students in medicine, dentistry, nursing and related fields come together to learn and practice team-based care in simulated settings and, later, at actual clinical sites.
As previously announced, Cleveland Clinic will serve as Health Security Advisor to the CPD for all four 2020 general election debates. They are:
First presidential debate:
Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH
Vice presidential debate:
Wednesday, October 7, 2020
The University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
Second presidential debate:
Thursday, October 15, 2020
Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Miami, FL
Third presidential debate:
Thursday, October 22, 2020
Belmont University, Nashville, TN
All debates will be 90 minutes, will run from 9:00–10:30 pm Eastern without commercial breaks, and be broadcast by the White House pool networks.
On October 1, 2019, the CPD adopted its criteria for whom may take part on the debate stage which is: (i) be Constitutionally eligible to hold the office of President of the United States; (ii) appears on enough state ballots to have a mathematical chance of winning a majority vote in the Electoral College; (iii) has a level of support of at least 15 percent of the national electorate, as determined by five national public opinion polling organizations, using the average of those organizations’ most recently publicly reported results at the time of the determination. The polls to be relied upon will be selected based on the quality of the method used, the reputation of the polling organizations and the frequency of the polling conducted. The CPD will identify the selected polling organizations before the time they apply the criteria.
The CPD’s determination regarding participating in the CPD’s first-scheduled debate will be made after Labor Day 2020, and before the first-scheduled debate to allow for orderly planning. Invitations to take part in the vice-presidential debate will be extended to the running mate of each of the presidential candidates qualifying for participation in the CPD’s first presidential debate. Invitations to participate in the second and third of the CPD’s scheduled presidential debates will be based upon satisfaction of the same multiple criteria prior to each debate.
The three candidates who are expected to have a mathematical chance of winning the Electoral College are Joe Biden, Jo Jorgensen, and Donald Trump. Jorgensen has been excluded from most polls and the CPD has not released precisely which polls it will use to meet the 15% threshold of polling.