2012 Presidential Debates: When They Start, Where to Watch

Politics at Play 11

american flagCalling all voters in America: There are only 42 days left before Election Day! Are you ready to vote for the next President of the United States? For anyone who is still undecided -- or if you just want your firmly-held convictions affirmed (ha!) -- you'll want to tune in to fall's exciting lineup of presidential debates. And we're right here with all the info you need.

Not only that, CafeMom's Moms Matter 2012 will be live-tweeting the debates and will host a Google Hangout right after each debate to get moms' reactions. Stay tuned this week for our tips on throwing your own presidential debate parties -- including a drinking game created by Lindsay Ferrier!

Now here's the 411 on which debates are happening when and where.

Starting Wednesday, October 3, there will be one televised debate a week running from 9:00 to 10:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

Where to watch?

  • You can catch all the debates on ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN.
  • If you like your debates with a bit of a liberal spin, you'll want to tune in to MSNBC.
  • If you lean to the right, FOX and Fox News have you covered.
  • Watch the debates on each respective moderator's "home" network: October 11 on ABC, October 16 on CNN, and October 22 on CBS.
  • Watch via live stream at 2012PresidentialElectionNews.com.

Each of the debates is sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates.

1: Wednesday October 3, President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney

Moderator: Jim Lehrer, PBS NewHour Executive Editor (and former host). This will be Lehrer's 12th time moderating a presidential debate. He said the debate between Barack Obama and John McCain in 2008 would be his last, but he was persuaded to moderate once more because of this year's format.

Topic: Domestic policy. This debate will be divided into six segments divided into topics chosen by Lehrer -- three segments on the economy, and then one each on health care, the role of government, and governing. Lehrer will open each segment with a question.

Location: University of Denver in Denver, Colorado

2. Thursday, October 11, Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan

Moderator: Martha Raddatz, ABC News Chief Foreign Correspondent

Topic: Foreign and domestic policy. This debate will be divided into nine segments. As with the October 3 debate, Raddatz will ask an opening question for each segment.

Location: Centre College in Danville, Kentucky

3. Tuesday, October 16, President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney

Moderator: Candy Crowley, CNN Chief Political Correspondent and anchor for State of the Union With Candy Crowley. Crowley is the first woman to moderate a presidential debate in 20 years.

Topic: Foreign and domestic policy. This debate will be held in a town meeting format. Undecided voters (chosen by the Gallup Organization) will ask questions of the candidates on foreign and domestic issues.

Location: Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York

4. Monday, October 22, President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney

Moderator: Bob Schieffer, Host of Face the Nation on CBS

Topic: Foreign policy. The format for the debate will be identical to the first presidential debate and will focus on foreign policy.

Location: Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida

Do you think the presidential debates will help you decide who to vote for in the 2012 election?


Image via AnnCam/Flickr

2012 election, in the news, mitt romney, barack obama, politics


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Procr... Procrastamom

I have my money on Romney not showing up to the debates and giving some lame excuse.  Then blaming the circumstances on Obama.

poppy... poppymuffin

@ Procrastamom, is there ANYTHING going on in your country that you can do besides writing such dribble on the Stir?

EmmaF... EmmaFromEire

if you're going to insult someone, at least get the phrase correct- DRIVEL, not dribble. Was there somethign going on in your country the day they taught that?

dreab... dreabug23

It looks like at least one child was left behind.

Procr... Procrastamom

@poppymuffin - there's lots going on in my country, but I've spent all day waiting for YOU and now I have no time left to fix it!  Dammit poppy, I could have found the solution to world peace by now!

jagam... jagamama0710

Do these debates actually change anybody's minds or push anybody from where they were to the other side? I feel like everybody's already made up their minds this time. lol 


Jaga, I think 95% have made up their minds, it's the 5% undecided that they'll be fighting for.

I think the debates do make a difference. It seems the win always seems to go to the best "speaker"- for better or worse.

Mary Deeter

Important for everyone to tune into each debate, listen to both men give their points of view. Watch all four debates completely! Don't let the newsmedia "spin" the debate be your only basis for making a voting decision!

nonmember avatar Zuri

@Procrasto: O RLY? Please tell me you were kidding. That had to be a joke, right? I don't like Romney either, but use common sense next time.

I think the debates are mainly a last-ditch effort to pick up those last few votes up for grabs. We already know who the best speaker is. Romney just needs to sway that last 5% while he still can, or the election is over.

Anita Tippets

I'm voting for Gary Johnson. I can not of clear conscience for for either Obama or Romney.

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