The 2016 presidential debates are held on the occasion of 2016 United States presidential general election

Debates among the major candidates to United States presidency are organized by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), a bipartisan organization formed in 1987, and take place at venues at university campuses around the United States.

In order to be eligible for participation into a presidential debate, CPD set three criteria: constitutional eligibility to become president, be on enough ballots to potentially reach 270 electoral votes and have an average of at least 15% in five selected national polls.

On the occasion of 2016 presidential debates, four candidates met the first two criteria: Democratic Party nominee and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Republican Party nominee Donald Trump, Gary Johnson of Libertarian Party and Jill Stein of Green Party

However, as of September 2016, only candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump reached the 15% polling threshold to participate into the first two presidential debates.

Locations of presidential debates for 2016 United States presidential elections are:
  • First presidential debate: Monday, September 26th, 2016 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York
  • Second presidential debate: Sunday, October 9th, 2016 at Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri
  • Third presidential debate: Wednesday, October 19th, 2016 at UNLV (University of Nevada, Las Vegas) campus.
  • Vice-presidential debate between Democratic Tim Kaine and Republican Mike Pence: Tuesday, October 4th, 2016 at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia.
Presidential debates for 2016 U.S. presidential elections all take place between 9:00 PM and 10:30 PM EDT and are structured with the following formats:
  • First presidential debate: six segments of approximately 15 minutes in length moderated by Lester Holt of NBC
  • Second presidential debate: “town meeting” format moderated by Martha Raddatz of ABC and Anderson Cooper of CNN.
  • Third presidential debate: same format of the first debate, moderated by Chris Wallace of Fox News