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Trump and Biden Spar at Debate as Campaign Hits the Home Stretch

Posted on in The Presidency · Campaigns & Elections · American Government

President Trump and former Vice President Biden sparred in the last presidential debate held in Nashville. The candidates debated several contentious issues, even as the tone was notably more civil than the widely-panned first encounter.

The second debate was cancelled after President Trump declined the move to a virtual debate. Both candidates claimed victory as the campaign entered the home stretch. 

Instructors, click the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt and a debate question as well as other assessment questions.

Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for “Trump and Biden Spar at Debate as Campaign Hits the Home Stretch"

Links

“Trump and Biden make final pitch to voters at last presidential debate”
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-biden-presidential-final-debate-recap/
 
“Who won the Trump-Biden debate? Experts grade the candidates”
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/who-won-trump-biden-debate-experts-grade-candidates-n1244481
 
“Why the Biden and Trump campaigns both claim they won the final 2020 presidential debate”
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2020/10/23/presidential-debate-trump-and-biden-campaigns-both-say-they-won/3740185001/
 
“Trump, Biden fight over the raging virus, climate and race”
https://apnews.com/article/debate-joe-biden-donald-trump-nbc-final-ea9fa49aa1ccf238d3004eb39ed9d8db

“GOP prays Trump stopped the bleeding”
https://www.politico.com/news/2020/10/23/trumps-allies-exhale-debate-fret-rallies-431706
 
“Day After Debate, Biden and Trump Amplify Attacks, Seeking an Edge”
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/23/us/politics/biden-trump-oil-virus.html
 
“Who won the debate? Trump-Biden showdown polarizes Twitter”
https://www.foxnews.com/media/who-won-debate-trump-biden-twitter
 
“Trump seeks momentum from debate while Biden focuses on pandemic”
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-seeks-momentum-fromdebate-while-biden-focuses-on-pandemic/2020/10/23/c9a00384-1543-11eb-bc10-40b25382f1be_story.html

Assessment

  • Writing:  Describe the traditional role of the debate in the presidential campaign. Why do some critics argue that debates do not have the same impact they had in previous elections?
  • Debate:  Presidential debates are still the most valuable way for voters to get a complete picture of where the candidates stand on the issues.
  • Poll:  Presidential candidates should participate in more/fewer debates.
  • Short Answer: What can the Commission on Presidential Debates do to ensure that future debates give candidates an equal forum and voters the maximum opportunity to learn about competing policies?

Current events quiz:

1) Why do presidential candidates put so much emphasis on the debates?

a. it is an opportunity to speak to American people directly
b. it is typically the time when voters are first introduced to the candidates
c. it is typically the moment when vice presidential running mates are introduced
d. it is the period when the party platform is revised and approved

2) What major change was made after the first debate by the Commission on Presidential Debates?

a. all the debates were moved to Washington D.C.
b. all the questions came from undecided voters
c. a mute button was instituted so candidates could speak uninterrupted
d. every debate was converted to a virtual setting

3) All the following are true EXCEPT.

a. Biden leads among all voters in Texas.
b. Biden leads among White voters in Texas.
c. Biden leads among Black voters in Texas.
d. Biden leads among Hispanic voters in Texas.

4) The second debate was moved to virtual and later cancelled after President Trump tested positive for COVID-19. (T/F)

5) Former Vice President Biden was looking for a strong debate performance to make up ground on President Trump’s national polling lead. (T/F)

6) The strongest base of support in Texas for candidate Biden is among Hispanics. (T/F)

Answers:

1) A

2) C

3) B

4) True

5) False

6) False

 

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