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November 21, 2023

2024's First Presidential Debate Scheduled for Mid-September at Texas State University

The bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates revealed the schedule for the first of three presidential debates slated for 2024. The series is set to commence on Sept. 16, 2024, at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas, followed by debates on Oct. 1 at Virginia State University in Petersburg, Va., and Oct. 9 at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. A vice presidential debate is also on the docket for Sept. 25 at Lafayette College in Easton, Pa. Each debate is slated for a 9 p.m. ET start and will run uninterrupted for 90 minutes.

This series is notable for several reasons. The event at Virginia State University marks the first time a presidential debate will take place at a historically Black college or university. Meanwhile, the University of Utah previously hosted the 2020 vice presidential debate.

The Commission's co-chairs, Frank Fahrenkopf and Antonia Hern√°ndez, emphasized the significance of these debates as a global model for providing a platform for leading candidates to address critical issues in a fair and impartial environment.

Remarkably, the Sept. 16 debate will mark the earliest-ever general election presidential debate since the Commission's inception in 1976. Traditionally, these debates have taken place in early October.

This schedule shift also results in a longer gap between the final debate and Election Day, with a record 27 days separating the two events.

The participation of the Republican presidential candidate in these debates remains uncertain. The Republican National Committee unanimously voted in April 2022 to abstain from future Commission-hosted events, citing perceived bias within the panel.

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