The second Presidential Debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton takes place tonight, live from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. This debate will be the “town hall” format where the candidates will field questions directly from voters in addition to the moderators. The debate will be a little different from the first debate as there will be two moderators, CNN’s Anderson Cooper and ABC’s Martha Raddatz.


Sunday, October 9, 2016
Second Presidential Debate from Washington University in St. Louis

Air Time: 9pm ET (8pm CT, 7pm MT, 6pm PT, basically live in whatever 9pm ET is equivalent to in your time zone)

Candidates: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump
Moderator: Martha Raddatz, Chief Global Affairs Correspondent and Co-Anchor of “This Week,” ABC
Moderator: Anderson Cooper, Anchor, CNN

Live Stream:

Alternate Live Stream Links: Fox Business, C-SPAN, Twitter, CNN, CBS News

Format: The second presidential debate will take the form of a town meeting, in which half of the questions will be posed directly by citizen participants and the other half will be posed by the moderator based on topics of broad public interest as reflected in social media and other sources. The candidates will have two minutes to respond and there will be an additional minute for the moderator to facilitate further discussion. The town meeting participants will be uncommitted voters selected by the Gallup Organization.

Here’s a preview from CBS News on what will be discussed tonight:

1. The impact of the Trump tape and of Clinton’s Wall Street speeches
The video in which Trump is heard saying, “I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the p**** — you can do anything.”

Trump’s response to questioning on this subject is the top thing to watch for — will he show any contrition, defend himself or lash out?

Though it initially received less attention Friday, at about the same time, WikiLeaks released what it alleges are Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails (the Clinton campaign would not confirm their authenticity), and one thread showed excerpts from the transcripts of Clinton’s Wall Street speeches and the portions her aides were concerned about. Lines that could provide fodder for questioning include a remark about how “you need both a public and a private position” on policy, and another that suggests she is “kind of far removed” from the middle-class concerns she champions because of the financial success she and Bill Clinton have enjoyed since he left the presidency.

2. Lessons from the first debate — will Trump take the bait?
Sunday night will be Clinton’s and Trump’s second primetime face-off, after the first debate in New York last month, and comes just five days after their running mates shared the stage in Virginia. What, if anything, did the two candidates take away from the first two debates of the fall?

Trump, for example, was panned for his performance in September, looking overaggressive while Clinton remained calm. Trump also appeared largely unprepared for the debate, compared with Clinton, who had clearly done her homework. In the vice-presidential debate, however, it was Democratic candidate Tim Kaine who was the aggressor—and Republican VP pick Mike Pence had the cooler, more soft-spoken demeanor.

Top aides to both candidates were surely watching every minute detail of both debates and incorporating new lessons into each candidate’s prep. Is Trump more prepared this time? Will Clinton ditch some of her pre-planned “zingers”?

As if there wasn’t enough pressure for Trump to perform well tonight, the recent disclosure of some lewd comments from 11 years ago has sent this entire campaign into overdrive. One interesting aspect to the developments in the past 48 hours is that the debate expectations for Hillary Clinton are basically non-existant. Will she connet with voters? Will she successfully bait Trump like she did in the first debate? Nobody is really asking these questions because – as has been the case – the focus is now entirely on how Donald Trump will perform tonight. Given what has happened in the past 2 days, is there a chance this debate viewership could top the record numbers from the first debate? I doubt it, but, then again, this campaign season is nothing if not unpredictable.

We’ll have the full video available after it airs.

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