One week to go - Let's look at the role debates play in US Elections

Jun 20, 2024

2 min


US Presidential debates are a cornerstone of American democratic tradition, playing a critical role in shaping public perception and voter decision-making during election cycles.



This topic is not only newsworthy because of its historical significance but also due to its influence on political discourse, media coverage, and the democratic process. The evolution of these debates reflects broader societal changes, technological advancements, and shifts in political strategy. Furthermore, presidential debates provide a platform for candidates to present their policies and personalities, thereby directly impacting election outcomes. Key story angles include:


  • Historical Evolution of Presidential Debates: Exploring the origins, key moments, and changes in format and style of presidential debates from the Kennedy-Nixon debate in 1960 to the present day.
  • Impact on Voter Perception and Behavior: Analyzing how debates influence public opinion, voter turnout, and the overall electoral process.
  • Media's Role in Shaping Debates: Investigating the role of media in organizing, broadcasting, and moderating debates, including the influence of television, social media, and real-time fact-checking.
  • Debate Strategies and Candidate Performance: Examining how candidates prepare for debates, notable performances, gaffes, and their impact on campaign momentum.
  • Civic Engagement and Public Discourse: Discussing the role of debates in promoting civic engagement, political education, and public discourse on key issues facing the nation.
  • Technological Advancements and Future Trends: Exploring how technology has transformed debates, from live streaming and interactive features to virtual debates and the use of AI in analysis.


These angles offer journalists a comprehensive framework to explore the historical significance and ongoing impact of US Presidential debates on American politics and society.


Connect with an Expert about the history of Presidential Debates:


Jingsi Christina Wu

Associate Professor of Journalism, Media Studies, and Public Relations · Hofstra University


John Koch

Senior Lecturer and Director of Debate · Vanderbilt University


Kevin Wagner, Ph.D.

Professor and Department Chair · Florida Atlantic University


Juliana Fernandes

Assistant Professor · University of Florida


Sandra Pavelka, Ph.D.

Expert in political science and justice · Florida Gulf Coast University


To search our full list of experts visit www.expertfile.com

Photo credit: Library of Congress

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