CNN has set the rules for the first presidential debate of the 2024 election cycle, scheduled to take place in less than two weeks. Both President Biden and former President Donald Trump have agreed to the terms.

Debate Details

The debate will be held on June 27 in Atlanta and will be hosted by CNN’s Jake Tapper and Dana Bash. This will mark the first in-person debate between Biden and Trump since the 2020 election cycle. The 90-minute event will feature two commercial breaks, and candidates will not be allowed to consult with their campaign teams during these breaks.

Qualification Criteria

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To qualify for the debate, 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, independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is on the ballot in six states, totaling 89 potential electoral college votes, making his participation in the debate uncertain.

Debate Format and Rules

The rules agreed upon by the candidates include:

  • Podiums and positions will be determined by a coin flip.
  • Microphones will be muted outside of designated speaking times.
  • Candidates will only be allowed a pen, notepad, and bottle of water.
  • No props or prepared notes will be permitted.
  • For the first time in recent history, there will be no studio audience.

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Moderators will enforce timing and maintain a civilized discussion.

Participation Requirements

In addition to meeting polling and ballot access criteria, candidates must also satisfy the requirements outlined in Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution to serve as president. Biden, Trump, and other candidates like Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Cornel West, and Jill Stein meet these constitutional requirements and have filed a formal statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission.

Polling Standards

National polls of registered or likely voters that meet CNN’s standards include those 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.