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Zingers and Gaffes: A Look At the Utility of Presidential Debates

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - OCTOBER 22: U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden take the stage for the final presidential debate at Belmont University on October 22, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee. This is the last debate between the two candidates before the election on November 3. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Zingers and Gaffes: A Look At the Utility of Presidential Debates

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - OCTOBER 22: U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden take the stage for the final presidential debate at Belmont University on October 22, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee. This is the last debate between the two candidates before the election on November 3. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Zingers and Gaffes: A Look At the Utility of Presidential Debates

The presidential debate has been a right of passage for both primary and general election candidates for more than thirty years. Now in the midst of another election season, it looks like this well-established tradition might be fading away. But do debates inform voters, and do they change minds? We take a look at how the modern presidential debate came to be, and what their absence would mean for candidates and voters. Email us at considerthis@npr.org

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - OCTOBER 22: U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden take the stage for the final presidential debate at Belmont University on October 22, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee. This is the last debate between the two candidates before the election on November 3. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

 

The presidential debate has been a right of passage for both primary and general election candidates for more than thirty years.

Now in the midst of another election season, it looks like this well-established tradition might be fading away. But do debates inform voters, and do they change minds?

We take a look at how the modern presidential debate came to be, and what their absence would mean for candidates and voters.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org

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