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Presidential debate

Originally started in 1948, presidential debates have become an important tradition in the U.S. general elections. It's one of the most important opportunities for candidates to compete fact-to-face for voter support on live national television. During the debate, the main candidates often engage in heated discussions over a range of topics covering the economy, foreign policy, education and other subjects that are often the most controversial issues of the time. While debates aren't constitutionally mandated, they have become an integral part of the election process and, arguably, play a critical role in deciding the outcomes of the elections. The main targets for these debates are undecided voters, those who usually are impartial to the candidates' political ideology or party.

Presidential debates are usually held late in the election cycle, after the political parties have nominated their candidates. The candidates meet in a large hall before an audience of citizens with the debate being televised live on national TV. The formats of the debates are varied, with questions sometimes posed from one or more journalist moderators and in other cases members of the audience.

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  • Part of Speech: noun
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  • Industry/Domain: Government
  • Category: U.S. election
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