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Presidential Debate Formats, Dates Announced Presidential Debate Formats, Dates Announced

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Campaign 2012

Presidential Debate Formats, Dates Announced


President Obama and Mitt Romney are scheduled to debate three times this fall.(AP Images)

The Commission on Presidential Debates on Wednesday released the locations and dates of this fall's presidential debates. The first matchup between President Obama and Mitt Romney will deal with domestic issues, and the last will focus on foreign policy.

Four debates were announced, including one vice presidential face-off. Each will be 90 minutes long with one moderator.


The first, on domestic policy, will take place on Oct. 3 at the University of Denver.

The vice-presidential debate follows on Oct. 11 at Centre College in Danville, Ky., where foreign and domestic issues will be discussed.

The second Obama-Romney debate will be a town-meeting format on domestic and foreign issues on Oct. 16 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.


The final debate, on foreign policy, will take place on Oct. 22 at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.

This four-debate schedule is similar to that used in the 2008 election, which also included a domestic-policy debate, a foreign-policy debate, and a town-hall setup, which drew the most television viewers.

The debate map takes candidates, and the viewing public, to a mix of swing states (Colorado and Florida); one red state, Kentucky; and one blue state, New York. 

The organization also today recirculated the 2012 Candidate Selection Criteria, which determine who will participate in the presidential debates. The criteria include number of appearances on state ballots and having more than 15 percent support of the national electorate in respected polls — effectively restricting these encounters to Obama and Romney.

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