Supreme Court, COVID-19, race to be subjects of first presidential debate Tuesday night

Posted at 4:09 PM, Sep 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-29 14:35:01-04

The moment America has been waiting for: Tuesday night kicks off the first of three presidential debates. 23ABC’s Kristin Vartan has a breakdown of the debate.

Tuesday night former Vice PresidentJoe Biden and President Donald Trump will go podium to podium in Cleveland, Ohio to debate six key issues in our country over the last four years.

It seems that unless you’re a swing state like Pennsylvania or Florida, Bakersfield College political science Professor Allen Bolar says the presidential debate may not sway most voters. Especially in predominantly red Bakersfield.

“I’m just being honest with you, there will be some people who change their minds, but most people already know who they’re going to vote for. We’ve already been voting in most states,” said Bolar.

Bolar however does point out that those key issues could impact a few voters to change their mind on not just the presidential vote but congressional candidates too. This is most likely in the 21st District, where TJ Cox and David Valadao are on the ticket.

“That’s going to be a very close election, and even though neither of those men are going to be in the debate tomorrow, a lot of times people vote straight ticket. So to the degree that one or more of those parties can gather support, it might affect that one.”

Here are the six key issues viewers will be hearing about Tuesday:

  • Supreme Court
  • COVID-19
  • The integrity of the election
  • Race and violence in cities
  • The economy
  • Trump and Biden’s records

And with a vacant Supreme Court seat up for grabs and Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barett on the table, Bolar said this could be the first issue debated.

“They’ll probably be asked to address the fact that four years ago there was a seat that was kept open for nearly a year until after a presidential election. This year it’s being done much quicker. And there could be future seats that become open the next four to eight years.”

Bolar adds that Biden could potentially be looking forward to rebutting the COVID-19 conversation with Trump.

“When opinion polls ask the American people who they would trust more to handle the COVID-19 pandemic, they choose Biden. So I think Biden is going to try to use that as a way to make himself appear or sound more credible and confident, that he is going to lay out a plan for how to deal with the epidemic over the next year.”

Another epidemic up for discussion are the racial tensions in the United States. Bolar anticipates Trump to appeal to those seeking, "law and order," while Biden may sympathize with, “those suffering.”

“To the degree that either of them will be able to do that, they’ll be successful,” said Bolar.

Of course, the integrity of the election will be a topic of discussion, which Bolar points out Trump has brought up repeatedly on the campaign trail.

“We have a good electoral system in the United States. We’ve used mail balloting for years, since the civil war. so that’s the reason this is up for debate because one side has consistently made this something that’s been debatable when it shouldn’t.”

The debate will start at 6 p.m. Tuesday. It will last an hour and a half with no opening statements. As the incumbent, Trump will speak first.

The next two presidential debates will take place on October 15 and October 22.