The presidential debates are almost finished now, and that means we’re fairly close, finally, to the end of what has been an extraordinarily hectic election cycle. The first debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump was wild, but things should be a bit calmer for the second and final presidential debate, since the candidates will be muted when it’s not their turn to speak this time. But regardless of how the debate goes, you’ll be able to stream CNN’s coverage for free.
The debate itself is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. ET on Thursday, Oct. 22, and CNN’s debate preshow — led by Erin Burnett and Anderson Cooper — will start up two hours before that at 7 p.m. ET. CNN’s main crew for the night — Wolf Blitzer, Jake Tapper, Dana Bash and Abby Phillip — will join in at 8 p.m., and they’ll all stick around once the debate ends at 10:30 p.m. ET.
A whole bunch of other CNN contributors will be popping up throughout the evening, with John King providing stats and polling data on the Magic Wall, and Kaitlan Collins, Arlette Saenz and Jessica Dean reporting in from Clevelend. Daniel Dale will be on fact check duty.
Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon will take over coverage at 1 a.m. ET.
Unlike Fox News and MSNBC, CNN will allow viewers to stream its debate coverage live, for free on the CNN.com homepage and via the CNN stable of apps Android, iOS and TV streaming boxes. No TV login required.
This debate will be moderated by NBC’s Kristen Welker. Welker announced the debate topics last week: American families, race in America, climate change, national security and leadership. The Trump campaign has complained about the inclusion of climate change as a topic of discussion. Trump also publicly complained about Welker, saying she’s “no good” and a “radical Democrat.”
This is the final debate in this election cycle, which featured one fewer debate than normal after Donald Trump skipped out on the second one. That led to a contentious town hall for Trump on NBC that was moderated by Savannah Guthrie.
Aside from CNN, there are a number of other free streams for the debate that you’ll be able to check on YouTube, including PBS NewsHour and C-SPAN. And if you pop onto Twitter around debate time, you’ll almost certainly be greeted by a livestream at the top of your feed.