How to watch the first presidential debate between Biden and Trump

President Biden and former President Donald Trump are facing off for their first debate of the 2024 presidential election cycle on Thursday, with much at stake as national polls have shown the two candidates neck-and-neck. 

CNN is hosting the first debate between the two presumptive party nominees on Thursday, June 27 at 9 p.m. ET (6 p.m. PT). The debate will also be simulcast on other networks, including CBS. It’s expected to last 90 minutes, and include two commercial breaks.

The debate will take place at CNN’s headquarters in Atlanta, where CNN’s Jake Tapper and Dana Bash will moderate. Tapper and Bash have both moderated presidential debates before. 

There will be no studio audience, ensuring that the candidates won’t be interrupted by anyone but each other or the moderators. The lack of the audience also helps the TV audience make up their own minds about who performs better, without influence from audience reactions. 

CNN also says the microphones will be muted when it’s not a candidate’s turn to speak, a move intended to limit interruptions. 

Mr. Biden retreated to Camp David with his team to work on debate prep. Trump, without the duties of the Oval Office, has continued to hold rallies, including one in Racine, Wisconsin, on Tuesday. 

Trump and Mr. Biden are virtually tied in the polls following Trump’s criminal conviction in Manhattan last month on 34 counts of falsifying business records. A majority of likely voters say Trump’s conviction isn’t a factor in their decision, and issues like inflation and the border are much more important to them. Heading into the first debate, the Biden campaign has launched a new TV ad leaning into Trump’s status as a “convicted felon.” 

Thursday’s debate may feel like a repeat of 2020 for viewers, although the two candidates won’t likely be as physically distanced as they were during the pandemic debates. Trump tested positive for COVID-19 just days after their Sept. 29, 2020, presidential debate, the last time the two men were on a stage together. 

The debate will also be simulcast on CBS television stations and CBS News streaming. CBS Evening News anchor and managing editor Norah O’Donnell will anchor a special report, with analysis from CBS News political correspondents and analysts. 

How to watch the first presidential debate

  • What: President Biden and former President Donald Trump debate
  • Date: Thursday, June 27, 2024
  • Time: Debate begins at 9 p.m. ET, 6 p.m. PT 
              Coverage and analysis begin at 5 p.m. ET with “America Decides” on CBS News 24/7
  • Location: CNN studios in Atlanta
  • On TV: CNN (cable) and simulcast on CBS television stations — find your local CBS station here
  • Online stream: Live on CBS News 24/7 in the player above and on your mobile or streaming device
  • Follow live updates: On 

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