2012 Presidential Debates: When They Start, Where to Watch

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

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