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New debate format sets a “low bar” for the first 2024 Trump-Biden clash

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image of combination of Sept. 29, 2020, file photos shows President Donald Trump, left, and former Vice President Joe Biden during the first presidential debate at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. Amid the tumult of the 2020 presidential campaign, one dynamic has remained constant: The Nov. 3 election offers voters a choice between substantially different policy paths. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are gearing up for June 27, the first of their two debates. The proposed format for the debate, which will be hosted by CNN, calls for muted microphones, no studio audience, no opening statements and two commercial breaks, among other particulars — a departure from debates of the past.

Northeastern University political scientist Nick Beauchamp says the revamped format reflects a shared sense of diminished expectations for meaningful debate, as both candidates face concerns about their fitness for the job ahead of a tightly contested clash for the Oval Office. “The media has set the bar low for both candidates,” says Beauchamp, an associate professor of political science. “By their lights, Biden must avoid gaffs to counter the criticisms of his age, while Trump must appeal to swing voters like a normal politician.”

Read more at Northeastern Global News.

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