Biden and Trump Set to Clash in High-Stakes Debate on Thursday

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will face off on Thursday in a pivotal debate, marking a crucial moment in the race for the White House. Despite low voter enthusiasm, experts predict a high viewership as Americans tune in to see who can gain a decisive edge as the election nears its final stretch. as reported by The Hill.

Both candidates are under scrutiny regarding their fitness for office, with voters raising concerns about age and temperament. Biden, trailing Trump in swing-state polls, is in dire need of a game-changing performance.

“I think it’s going to be really important,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.). “Your answers are pretty consequential, so this is pretty high stakes.”

Biden and Trump met the qualifications for Thursday’s debate, while independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. did not, making it a rematch of the 2020 presidential debates. Polls show Biden, 81, and Trump, 78, neck and neck, underscoring the debate’s significance. told by AOL.

Tevi Troy, a presidential historian at the Bipartisan Policy Center, noted that Americans will watch to assess the candidates’ mental fitness. “Even if people are unenthusiastic about candidates, they want to see if there’s a meltdown on stage,” he said.

This debate is the first since 1984 not hosted by the Commission on Presidential Debates and the earliest televised general election debate since its inception in 1960. The shift aims to accommodate early voting, which now starts as early as mid-September in some states.

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) commented on this change, saying, “Having debates in October doesn’t make much sense.” He noted that early voting requires an earlier debate schedule.

Interest is heightened by the fact that there will only be two debates before the election, with another scheduled for September and a vice-presidential debate expected as well.

“Given that there’s only two, and given the discussion about the preparedness of both candidates, I think people are looking to see Biden perform and how crazy Trump will be,” said former Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.). report from AP News.

Biden faces pressure to improve his polling numbers, which have lagged despite Trump’s conviction in a New York hush money trial. A recent Emerson College Polling/The Hill survey found Trump leading narrowly in key swing states, with Decision Desk HQ/The Hill showing Trump polling 0.6 percentage points ahead of Biden.

CNN’s Van Jones emphasized the debate’s importance, saying, “This is the entire election as far as I’m concerned. If Biden messes up, it’s game over. But if he handles himself against Trump, then he deserves another shot to be president.”

Predictions about viewership vary. Some, like Capito, anticipate a “huge audience” comparable to the 2016 debates, while others, like Troy, believe social media will play a larger role in disseminating debate highlights.

Debates’ impact on elections is debated among experts, with some citing historical moments that influenced outcomes, while others argue their overall effect can be minimal.

Nevertheless, Thursday’s debate marks a significant moment in the campaign, preceding the national conventions. “I’m glad to see it,” said Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). “Let’s get it out there, let them talk to each other.”

Warren believes the early debate will benefit Biden by showcasing Trump’s behavior. “Remind everybody again exactly who these two people are,” she said. “If that’s what comes through in this debate, exactly who they are at their core, then I’m feeling pretty good about this.”