For the second and final time during the 2020 presidential race, President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden square off on the debate stage.
Current polls show Trump trailing in most national polls by a 6 to 10 percent margin and trailing in three key states that he won in 2016: Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan — though Trump did outperform poll numbers during the 2016 election.
The debate also comes amid a flood of political news out of Washington that could impact talking points.
- Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee sent Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination to the Senate floor — a significant step that could allow the Senate to confirm her nomination as soon as Monday.
- A day after leaving in the middle of a 60 Minutes interview, the White House scooped CBS and published the full, unedited footage online.
- Weekly unemployment claims dipped below 800,000 for the first time in months, though those figures remain historically high.
Thursday's debate was originally slated to be the third debate between the two candidates. However, a town hall debate that was scheduled to take place on Oct. 15 was canceled after Trump declined to participate. Trump objected to the Commission on Presidential Debates announced the town hall would take place virtually due to the President's COVID-19 diagnosis.
Thursday's debate will also feature a format change that requires a candidates' microphone to be turned off while his opponent is delivering his opening remarks during a given topic.
Last Friday, moderator Kristen Welker announced that the following topics would be addressed Thursday night: fighting COVID-19, American families, race in America, climate change, national security, and leadership.
Watch the debate live in this story beginning at 9 p.m. ET.