After a bitter and heated first debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, which was described by some observers as “a circus”, the fate of the remaining two scheduled presidential debates was thrown into question.
A number of US news outlets penned Op-Eds arguing for them to be cancelled, after the 29 September debate descended into bickering and insults.
However, it has been confirmed that the next two debates will go ahead, likely with new rules which will aim to make them more easily manageable for the moderator and listenable for viewers at home.
When are the next debates?
The remaining debates are scheduled for 15 October and 22 October, and will take place in Miami and Nashville, respectively.
The debates are both scheduled to begin at 9pm EST and will run for approximately 90 minutes without ad-breaks.
There will also be a vice-presidential debate, between current VP Mike Pence and Joe Biden’s Democratic running mate, Kamala Harris, which will take place on 7 October in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Each debate will be shown across all major US television networks, and will be available to stream online through various channels.
What will be different?
The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), an independent body responsible for organising them, will look to amend the rules going into the last phase of the election, due to the rampant disruption which characterised the first debate.
It has been reported that the major priority for the CPD is cutting down the number of interruptions, and making sure each candidate is allowed more-or-less equal time to speak.
One of the main options being considered is a cut-off on each candidate’s microphone which would prevent them from being heard when it is not their turn to speak.
Why the change?
When incumbent president Donald Trump faced off against Democratic nominee Joe Biden earlier this week, the resulting exchange left many commentators wondering whether it had been of any use to voters, as so much time was lost due to interruptions and cross-talk.
Americans and viewers all around the world expressed their frustration at the way the debate played out, with the moderator unable to prevent the conversation from degrading into backbiting and squabbling.
Both men talked over and interrupted each other at various points, although Donald Trump did cut off his rival considerably more than the other way around.
Chris Wallace, the Fox News anchor who hosted the debate, has said he “never dreamed it would go off the track the way it did” and that the debate was a “terrible missed opportunity”.
More than 65 million people watched the first debate, with similar viewing figures expected for the follow-ups.
Snap polling following the first debate showed Joe Biden with a slight edge over his incumbent rival, although some have suggested that the debates are likely to have very little impact on which way viewers vote.
Some polls suggest that as many as 90% of Americans have already decided who they’ll vote for.
A version of this article originally appeared on our sister title, The Scotsman