October 11, 2019
The nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates has announced the schedule for the 2020 general election. There will be three presidential debates and one vice-presidential debate. Each will begin at 9:00 PM ET and run for 90 minutes, with no commercial interruptions.
This is the same number of debates that were held in advance of the 2016 presidential election. However, each 2020 debate is more than a week closer to Election Day than the corresponding one in 2016. This is partially due to a later calendar date, as well as the fact that the 2020 election is five days earlier (November 3 vs. November 8) than in 2016. For example, the final debate in 2016, on October 19, was 20 days before the November 8 election. In 2020, the final debate will be October 22, just 12 days in advance of the November 3 election.