The global pandemic continues to cause widespread problems that are not immune to the political arena as scheduling conflicts have created uncertainties for organizers involved in planning rallies and debates. In fact, the presidential debates have been cut down to just two debates in the last couple of weeks. The second debate scheduled for October 15, 2020, was canceled by the Commission on Presidential Debates. It was set to be virtual; however, the event did not take place due to a disagreement among those involved.
The second and final presidential debate is set to take place at Belmont University in Nashville on October 22. It will be a town hall style debate similar to the one held in Cleveland just three weeks earlier. Due to concerns over Covid-19, the debate is expected to be small with protective measures in place to prevent a potential outbreak. This debate will be the last opportunity for the two candidates to reach Americans on this scale before elections.
Tech’s campus has clubs with members representing each party. TTU College Republican’s Chairman Nicholas Lawson spotlighted the highlights of the presidential debate.
“The Supreme Court, with respect to the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett and the issue of court packing; The economy, particularly with the recovery of the job market; Race relations, and how they relate to law and order and riots; The coronavirus, how China lost control of it; Free and Fair trade and the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA); Finally, Election integrity and how mail-in ballots will affect election results and how quickly results are determined,” said Lawson.
These key issues will continue to be addressed as the election nears.
In regards to key issues that Americans want addressed, Carter Young, a member of the TTU College Democrats, named an important one.
“I think that most Americans want COVID-19 addressed by either candidate — whether it be opening the country fully or shutting down again; people feel strongly toward both sides,” Young said.
This is an issue that both parties represented at Tech mentioned as being an important topic as the pandemic continues to affect Americans in regards to health and finances.
Criticism of the moderator at the first debate was a major focus in the news in the hours following the event. Lawson felt as though the next debate could be improved.
“Using a single moderator can more easily lead to bias toward one candidate, multiple questioners from different media outlets may not eliminate bias, but would balance it,” said Lawson.
Likewise, Young also felt as though there could be improvements.
“If I was in charge, I would absolutely start turning off each candidate’s microphones while the other is speaking. This would allow each candidate the opportunity to speak without being interrupted with name-calling and yelling over each other,” Young said.
As Belmont University plans to host the final presidential debate, questions remain unanswered concerning the extent that coronavirus will play into the dynamics of the evening. The focus up to that point will be to ensure that Americans are given one last opportunity to hear each candidate present his plans for the next four years.