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first presidential debate 2024
first presidential debate 2024
Joe Biden, Donald Trump on YouTube
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What To Know Ahead Of The First Presidential Debate

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will face off in their highly anticipated first 2024 presidential debate on June 27. CNN will host the debate — which will begin at 9 p.m. ET and last 90 minutes — with news anchors Jake Tapper and Dana Bash serving as moderators.

This debate is monumental because it serves as the unofficial kickoff of election season (even though, of course, candidates have been campaigning for months now.) It also serves as a rematch between Biden and Trump, considering the two went head to head for the 2020 presidential election. 

The debate serves as the chance for these two election frontrunners to speak very publicly about the important issues the U.S. is facing today. In the 2020 election cycle, the leaders often focused on timely topics such as the COVID-19 pandemic and protests against police brutality in response to the murder of George Floyd. Since then, though, the political landscape has shifted in many ways, especially for young people: Reproductive rights, climate change, gun control, and the Israel-Hamas war are some of the top issues Gen Zers are hoping to hear the candidates’ views on. And hopefully the candidates deliver, especially considering 41 million members of Gen Z are eligible to vote in this election cycle. 

How to watch the first 2024 presidential debate

The debate will air live on CNN, CNN International, CNN en Español, and Max. If you don’t have access to those channels or the streaming platform, you can also watch it on CNN.com. CNN is allowing other networks such as ABC, NBC, C-SPAN, and Fox News to broadcast the debate as well, so you have plenty of options.

Changes to the traditional debate format

For this debate, there are a few changes that the candidates agreed to. For one, the candidates’ microphones will be muted unless it is their turn to speak, which will hopefully keep them from talking over one another. Another departure from past presidential debates is that there will be no studio audience — this was a demand made by Biden’s advisers to stop supporters from being rowdy and taking over the event. Here’s hoping these changes work, and the debate actually helps people make informed decisions about who they will vote for come November.

Alisha Allison is a national writer for the Entertainment/Culture section of Her Campus who started in January 2024. Alisha is a senior at University at Buffalo majoring in political science and minoring in social justice. She is also pursuing her journalism certificate. She’s has gained experience writing stories for her journalism classes, as an assistant editor on the news desk (former staff and contributing writer) for her university’s student-led newspaper, and a writer for Her Campus Buffalo. She is on the executive board for two chapters of national organizations at UB. Alisha plans on attending law school in the future. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music and spending time with her friends and family. She also likes watching television shows, movies, and video essays, and reading novels.