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2nd Presidential Debate Has New Rules But Substance Expected To Be The Same

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Thursday's second and final presidential debate will be the last time to see the candidates side by side.

In place will be some new rules designed to make the debate more informative. When the candidates appear on stage in Nashville, at least one has been tested for coronavirus.

"The vice president has tested negative again, and we, unlike the other side, are very transparent about that kind of information," said Michael Blake, vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

"I don't have that information. I can't tell you. I would tell you, I think the entire world knows, President Trump had COVID, has recovered, has been medically cleared by his doctors," noted Tim Murtaugh, communications director for the Trump campaign.

Subsequently, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said President Donald Trump tested negative before boarding Air Force One to Nashville.

Like the vice-presidential debate, there will be glass barriers separating the candidates and mics will be muted for each candidate while the other gives his two-minute response to questions.

"The president is going to be there. He's going to obey the rules, and actually, two more minutes for Joe Biden to speak uninterrupted is two minutes for him to wander himself into a corner and get lost in his own train of thoughts," Murtaugh told KDKA political editor Jon Delano.

"The reality is that either with the mic on or off, it doesn't really matter for Donald Trump because he's not going to say anything of substance. This is a man who will lie, who will confuse, and provide misinformation and disinformation no matter what is happening," said Blake.

Watch for President Trump to accuse Hunter Biden of selling access to his father's office, but his chief message will be economic.

"When people in western Pennsylvania and the greater Pittsburgh area go to vote, on their minds will be which candidate do I trust to restore the economy to where it was pre-pandemic?" says Murtaugh.

For Biden, it's continued focus on the coronavirus, 220,000 deaths, and loss of millions of jobs.

"We think about unemployment – 10.3 percent in Pennsylvania, highest since November of 1983. All these things are in place and occurring because of the disastrous response of Donald Trump and Mike Pence," said Blake.

Unless one candidate makes a huge gaffe, most people think this debate is not likely to change any minds.

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