People walk into the debate hall at Hofstra University on Sept. 26, 2016, in Hempstead, N.Y., hours before the official debate between presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump begins.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

In just about two hours, Democratic Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump will face off in the highly anticipated first presidential debate of the 2016 election.

CNN reports that an audience of around 100 million Americans is expected to tune in to the debate, which has been in the works for the last 18 months. The debate, which will take place at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., will begin at 9 p.m. EDT and last for 90 commercial-free minutes.


According to a New York Times poll, Hillary Clinton has a 69 percent chance of winning the presidency. Other polls, however, including CNN/ORC, show a much tighter race between the two candidates.

Both candidates spent Monday preparing for the debate. Clinton did mock debates with her former aide Philippe Reines, while Trump reportedly just watched videos of his Democratic competition.

Lester Holt, the anchor of NBC Nightly News, will host the political rivals as they debate the three topics that have been announced for the debate: “America’s direction,” “achieving prosperity” and “securing America.” Other questions for the debate will focus on current events.

Holt, who has previously interviewed both candidates, will also be under scrutiny after the much-criticized performance of his NBC colleague Matt Lauer during a candidate forum earlier this month. Fellow journalists have weighed in on Holt’s ability to handle the debate, including Richard Prince on The Root, whose Journal-isms column asked, “Will Lester Holt’s Race Influence His Presidential-Debate Questions?


The debate will air live on ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox News and PBS. Many websites will also stream the debate online.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter