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Surprise Twist in Newly Released Rules for the First Presidential Debate of 2024

CNN has finalized the rules for the first presidential debate of the 2024 election cycle, which is less than two weeks away.

The campaigns of President Biden and former President Donald Trump have agreed to the rules, CNN said on Saturday, noting that it is not “impossible” for independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to join the pair on stage.

To qualify for the CNN showdown, a candidate must have received 15% support in four separate national polls, and be on the ballot in enough states to reach 270 electoral college votes. Currently, Kennedy is on the ballot in six states, totaling 89 potential Electoral College votes.

The 90-minute debate, scheduled to take place on June 27 in Atlanta, will be hosted by CNN’s Jake Tapper and Dana Bash. It will be the first in-person face off between Biden and Trump since they stood alongside one another on debate stages during the 2020 cycle.

Ahead of the election, both candidates accepted the network’s invitation to debate last month and agreed to certain rules and formats that were outlined in CNN letters to their respective campaigns.

CNN said there will be two commercial breaks during the debate, and candidates will not be allowed to consult with other members of their campaign during that time.

The network also noted that candidates’ podiums and positions will be determined by a coin flip, their mics will be muted outside of speaking time, and they will only be provided with a pen, a notepad and a bottle of water.

Candidates will not be allowed to bring props or prepared notes.

For the first time in recent history, the debate between presidential contenders won’t have a studio audience.

The network said debate moderators “will use all tools at their disposal to enforce timing and ensure a civilized discussion.”

In order to qualify for the debate, candidates must also meet the requirements outlined in Article II, Section 1 of the US Constitution to serve as president. Biden and Trump both meet those requirements. Other candidates on non-major-party tickets – Kennedy, Cornel West and Jill Stein – also meet those requirements.

All five have also filed a formal statement of candidacy to the Federal Election Commission, another requirement to participate in the debate.

National polls of registered or likely voters that meet CNN’s standards for reporting include those that are sponsored by CNN, ABC News, CBS News, Fox News, Marquette University Law School, Monmouth University, NBC News, The New York Times/Siena College, NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist College, Quinnipiac University, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.

READ 62 COMMENTS
  • Sadie says:

    “Candidates will not be allowed to bring props or prepared notes.”

    Hmmm, does this mean Biden will NOT be allowed to have an ear wig with his handlers telling him what to say?

    Additionally, they both should have to take a drug screen just prior to starting and the results published at the beginning of the debate! EVERYBODY KNOWS Biden will be loaded to the gills with amphetamines and other stimulants in order to try and stay somewhat focused and on target!

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