The must-see TV event of the night on Sunday, October 9, won’t be a prestige cable drama or an NFL game. Instead, people all over America will be tuning in to watch Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump butt heads in real time during the second 2016 presidential debate that will broadcast live from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.
The nominees will take the stage once again to field tough questions — about everything from personal values to presidential policy — in the second of three debates aimed at giving the candidates a chance to make their case for any undecided voters. And compared to the relatively staid non-spectacle of the VP debate on Tuesday, October 4, there’s a good chance this event will include some controversial moments — especially since CNN revealed earlier on Sunday that the first questions at the debate will be about the #TrumpTapes scandal involving the real estate mogul and a 2005 recording that surfaced of the GOP candidate telling Billy Bush some, er, colorful things about Nancy O’Dell and the way he prefers to introduce himself to women.
Below, we’ve rounded up five things to know before you tune in. Plus, be sure to check out Us Weekly‘s live blog of the debate on October 9.
The debate starts at 9 p.m. ET and will air on all major television networks. (You can also catch it via livestream from Us‘ live blog.) As with previous debates, this event will run for 90 minutes without commercial interruptions — but unlike the prior ones, this will be a town hall event, which means the candidates will be mingling with and taking questions directly from the audience, rather than being confined behind their respective podiums.
Actually, it’s moderators, plural: While the task of keeping the candidates on-message fell to just one man, Lester Holt, in their first showdown, this event will be helmed by both Martha Raddatz, co-anchor of This Week on ABC, and Anderson Cooper of CNN.
In addition to fielding hand-picked questions from members of the 900-person audience, the moderators will be looking to social media for guidance on which issues the American public wants to see Clinton and Trump address. Therefore, this debate, compared to the policy-heavy first one, will likely center a lot more on social issues, including abortion and LGBT rights; it also means we’re likely to see more discussion of racial bias and/or violence in policing.
The pre-debate prep
Trump prepared for his first debate against Clinton by, um, not preparing at all — and the general consensus in the aftermath was that Clinton more or less wiped the floor with him. This time around, he’s doing things differently … sort of. The Republican nominee held a town hall event in New Hampshire on Thursday, October 6, which means the format of the upcoming debate should at least be familiar. However, he didn’t field the kind of hard-hitting questions there that he’s likely to get while sharing a stage with his opponent, so unless he’s practicing in secret, we might see him essentially winging it for a second time.
The in-debate tactics
And here’s where things get interesting. For her part, Clinton will probably use the same approach to debating Trump that worked pretty well for her last time: making strategic digs at him for his unreleased tax returns, bombastic temperament and provocative comments about women and minorities. (Prediction: That recently released recording of Trump bragging about how much he likes to grab women by the genitals will almost certainly get a mention on Sunday.) But Trump, for his part, has hinted that he’s going to take the gloves off this time around to attack Clinton on deeply personal topics, such as her past marital difficulties. Will he do it? Will it work?!
Only time will tell, so join Us as the event unfolds for a minute-by-minute live blog.
The second presidential debate airs nationwide on all networks on Sunday, October 9, at 9 p.m. ET.
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