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5 things to look for in tonight's Trump and Biden town halls

October 15, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Competing town halls on Thursday night will have President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, facing tough questions from voters, but viewers at home will be forced to choose which one to watch live.

(CNN)Competing town halls on Thursday night will have President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, facing tough questions from voters, but viewers at home will be forced to choose which one to watch live.

The Trump town hall lasts an hour; Biden's lasts 90 minutes.

They were scheduled after the Commission on Presidential Debates canceled Thursday night's planned town hall-style debate between Biden and Trump in the wake of Trump's coronavirus diagnosis.

National and swing-state polls show that a trailing Trump desperately needs such a moment; Biden does not.

For two weeks, Biden has refused to offer a clear, detailed answer to the question of whether he would support a progressive push to add seats to the Supreme Court, where Barrett's confirmation could soon give conservatives a 6-3 majority.

The questions he has ducked seem small compared with those Trump has refused to answer -- such as what his long-promised health care plan entails and what his tax returns show -- but are important to liberals who think Senate Republicans have spent years stacking the deck against Democrats procedurally, making it difficult to enact new policies under a Democratic-led Congress and keep the courts from striking them down.

Trump is trailing Biden and time is running out.

Thursday's town hall will likely be watched by millions -- offering Trump a needed platform -- but the viewership will almost certainly pale in comparison with what a general election debate with Biden, which would have aired across all networks, would have provided the President.

The reality is, however, that because Trump is trailing, he needs these events more than Biden does.

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