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.
- 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.
- 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