The night we've been waiting for the last few months is finally almost upon us. Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will debate for the first time Sept. 26. But when does the first presidential debate start? You'll want to tune in at 9 p.m. ET, when the first debate takes place at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.
This isn't Hofstra's first time playing host to a presidential debate. According to Cleveland.com, the university also held debates in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections. Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson will be missing from the stage, as the Commission on Presidential Debates ruled that only candidates polling 15 percent or higher are eligible to participate. NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt will serve as moderator for the first debate, and he's probably hoping that he fares better than Matt Lauer did last month when NBC hosted a Commander-in-Chief forum for Clinton and Trump. Lauer was widely criticized for being too soft on the presidential candidates, so hopefully at the official debate we'll see some pushback from Holt.
Holt will moderate six 15-minute sections on various topics decided ahead of the debate. He will pose a question and Clinton and Trump will get two minutes each to respond. Then, they can respond to each other. With remaining time, Hold can either pose other questions or allow the candidates to continue debating.
Clinton has kept her campaign appearance schedule light before the event while preparing for the debate. CNN reported that Clinton has devoted hours to watching footage of Trump debating. Although she's been a part of more than 40 debates throughout her political career, getting ready for one against Trump — who is reportedly a bit more lax in preparing for the debates — is to plan for the unexpected. According to the Washington Post, Trump's idea of debate prep includes hosting chats on the golf course on Sundays where they eat hot dogs and "test out zingers." We'll see how that works out for him during the debate.
In an election cycle that's seen much drama, with Clinton recently under scrutiny for her transparency and health issues and Trump under fire for most statements that come out of his mouth, it will be an interesting debate, to say the least. We've seen Trump attack his opponents in the primary debates, and of course he's attacked Clinton while on the campaign trail, but it will be interesting to see the dynamic when the two of them get in a room together and have to debate each other.