How to Watch the Second Presidential Debate (and What to Watch For)


The second presidential debate is tomorrow – you knew that, right? Here’s how to tune in and watch Donald Trump defend grabbing women by the crotch.

When is the second presidential debate?

The debate is October 9 at 9:00 PM Eastern. Just like the first debate, it will run 90 minutes with no commercial breaks.


What channel is the second presidential debate on?

As with the first debate, this thing is on almost all of the channels: ABC, CBS, FOX, PBS, Univision, CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, and C-SPAN, among others. NBC is missing this time around because of Sunday Night Football (Giants-Packers, in case you care).


Can I watch the second presidential debate online?

You sure can! Here’s the link to the live YouTube stream (that link is to PBS, but others are available, too). It will also stream live on ABC’s Facebook and Bloomberg TV’s Twitter. You have other options, too – everything that’s guide to streaming the first debate suggested still holds true for this one.


What is the format of the second presidential debate?

This is a “Town Hall” debate, in which half of the questions will be posed by concerned citizens in the audience. The other half of the questions will come from the moderator and will cover “topics of broad public interest,” which isn’t very specific but is all that the Commission on Presidential Debates is giving us on this one.


How much do the presidential debates matter?

Presidential debates don’t usually move the needle more than a few percentage points, and they usually do so by changing relative levels of enthusiasm (and, theoretically, voter turnout) rather than converting folks. But this debate could be particularly important given the fallout over Trump’s sexist comments just two days before the debate. How the debate goes could either extend Trump’s misery or change the conversation – which brings us to the next section.


What to watch for at the second presidential debate

  • Can Trump control the fallout from his damning hot mic tape? Audio from 2005 captures Trump saying unbelievably sexist things and bragging about kissing and groping women without permission. He’s sure to get a question about the scandal. Can he regain his dignity a bit, or will his reaction extend the life of the scandal? There’s a huge chance for Trump to change the conversation here, and it’s the clear focus as we head into the debate.
  • How will Hillary Clinton handle the format? Clinton hasn’t exactly forged a reputation as a people’s candidate. She’ll be fielding questions from average Joes in this format, which is a chance for GOOD OPTICS (or disaster!).
  • How will Clinton handle her Wall Street transcripts? Wikileaks dropped a bunch of new Clinton info right after Trump’s scandal hit. It’s been largely overwhelmed in the news by Trump’s scandal, but there are some quotes in the speeches that will give free trade opponents (which include far-left Bernie Sanders folks and right-leaning Trump voters) pause.

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