Sunday night is round two of the Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump presidential debates -- it’s likely to attract a lot of attention, especially given the emergence of a decade-old tape of Trump speaking about women in surprisingly vulgar terms that have earned him, even those who have supported his campaign.
The debate, which will be a town hall meeting format, will be hosted by ABC’s Martha Raddatz and CNN’s Anderson Cooper at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.
Both candidates squared off aton Long Island in Hempstead, New York.
NBC appears to be the only major broadcast news network not airing the debate. Instead, it will be airing the NFL’s New York Giants away game against the Green Bay Packers.
Watch CBSN starting at 11a.m. ET for full coverage of the debate
The bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) said half of the questions in the second debate will be posed directly by citizen participants and the other half will be “based on topics of broad public interest as reflected in social media and other sources.”
Each candidate will have two minutes to respond to each question and the moderator will be able to facilitate a deeper discussion for an additional minute. Gallup is selecting uncommitted voters to participate in the town hall.
The commission determined which candidates was eligible for the second debate by averaging support among five different general election polls and it also required that each candidate must have constitutional eligibility -- like being at least 35 years of age and a natural born citizen of the U.S. Each candidate must also have his or her name appear on enough state ballots “to have at least a mathematical chance of securing an Electoral College majority” in November’s election.
Earlier this week, the commission announced that the polling averages from the five polls for the second debate had Clinton at 44.8 percent and Trump at 40.8 percent. With Libertarian Gary Johnson at 7.4 percent support and Green Party candidate Jill Stein at 2.6 percent support, they both did not qualify.
Most voters said Clinton won the first debate, according to polls. Trump also complained about his microphone at the first debate and the commission later admitted that there was an issue with his audio, which affected how he was heard in the debate hall.
While Trump suggested he would bring up Bill Clinton’s sexual history during the second debate, he told the New York Post’s Page Six that he isn’t planning to do that after all. That was, however, before the Trump tape emerged. Since then, Trump has already brought up Bill Clinton’s past twice -- “Bill Clinton has actually abused women,” he said of the former president in what was supposed to be a video apology for his own lewd words.
That vulgar tape has caused several Republican lawmakers to call for Trump to quit the presidential race, paving the way for Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Trump’s running mate, to lead the GOP ticket. On Saturday, however, Trump remained defiant about staying in the race, tweeting out that “I WILL NEVER DROP OUT OF THE RACE, WILL NEVER LET MY SUPPORTERS DOWN!”
Clinton’s campaign condemned Trump’s 2005 comments, calling them “horrific,” but has not commented further on the controversy. According to her campaign, herare planned to be early in the debate Sunday night.
The debate also comes a few days after Hurricane Matthew affected millions along the southern part of the East Coast, including in key battleground state Florida.
Trump held his own town hall event on Thursday night in New Hampshire after his advisers urged him to practice for Sunday night.
Since the first debate, The New York Times published a report that showed he posted a $916 million loss in his 1995 tax returns they obtained, which means he could have avoided paying federal income taxes for up to 18 years. Trump has said that he can’t release his returns because he’s under audit, but that doesn’t bar someone from making them public. The Trump campaign has also not provided evidence that the GOP presidential nominee is currently under audit.