Biden-Trump debate is tonight. Here's how to watch

President Biden and former President Trump will take the stage Thursday evening for their first debate in the 2024 presidential election, an unusually early matchup signaling for many the summer campaign’s official beginning.

While many voters feel they already know the two leading candidates well enough from their respective years in office, Thursday will provide an opportunity for them to discuss their views on top issues motivating voters — such as the economy, immigration, abortion and foreign policy. The two candidates are neck and neck in latest presidential polling.

Here’s everything you need to know about the debate:

What time

The debate begins Thursday at 6 p.m. Pacific time. It is scheduled to last 90 minutes. There will be two 3½-minute ad breaks, during which the candidates are not permitted to speak with their campaign teams, per CNN’s rules.

How to watch

CNN will show the debate on its main cable channel, as well as on, CNN International, CNN Max and CNN en Español. The network will also allow other platforms to simulcast the debate, and most other major news networks are expected to carry it.

How it will work

The candidates will face off at CNN’s studios in Atlanta, four years after 73 million viewers tuned in to see the rivals debate in the 2020 election. A coin flip determined that Biden will stand on the podium to television viewers’ right, while Trump will give his closing statement after Biden, according to CNN.

The network announced that Biden and Trump’s microphones will be muted throughout the evening except when it is each candidate’s time to speak, to eliminate cross talk — which there was a lot of the last time around. There will also be no studio audience. CNN anchors Jake Tapper and Dana Bash will moderate.

Independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who failed to qualify for the debate, has scheduled a competing event, also at 6 p.m. Pacific time Thursday. He has dubbed it “the Real Debate.”

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