Trump vs Hillary debate schedule
When Trump Meets Clinton, No TV Record in America Will Be Safe
“People are expecting a brawl,” says Allen Adamson, a former executive with the branding firm Landor Associates. “Nothing attracts viewers like a brawl.”
The Ali versus Frazier-level match-ups could rival the Super Bowl and bust the presidential-debate viewership record set by Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter in 1980. It’d be hard to imagine that happening if one of the contenders was, say, John Kasich, instead of a former reality-TV star with an arsenal of put-Twitter-in-overdrive bon mots. There are other factors, such as Clinton’s shot at becoming the first female commander-in-chief and the fact both are registering unheard of negative-favorability ratings. There’s irony in that — they’re so despised in some quarters they’re mesmerizing.
“It’s just got everything going for it,” says Jim Lehrer, the former PBS NewsHour anchor who moderated his 12th debate in 2012.
Unlike primary debates, which are put on by media outlets, general-election battles are organized by the Commission on Presidential Debates, a bipartisan nonprofit. They’re supposed to be cerebral affairs, with live audiences of 600 to 1,000 people who are asked to refrain from booing or shouting, and who in the past have generally complied. Any network can run them at no cost.