The Debate

Race to the bottom: What does Trump-Biden debate say about US democracy?


Traditionally, US presidential debates barely sway public opinion, if at all. Of course, the spectacle that unfolded on Tuesday night in Cleveland was not your traditional debate. For 90 minutes, tens of millions of Americans watched Donald Trump and Joe Biden needle, badger, interrupt, and sometimes even insult. But were viewers agape and embarrassed or cheering and baying for blood? Is it infotainment that will soon be forgotten or a telling illustration of the state of democracy in the US?


How does the rest of the planet feel when the leader of the world's top superpower refuses to commit to respecting the outcome of the election? An election that's taking place in the midst of a Covid-19 pandemic, where traditional campaigning has been curtailed and where millions have already cast ballots. This was no ordinary debate and this is no ordinary election. 

>> As it happened: Trump and Biden face off in bitter, chaotic first US presidential debate

>> Trump vs Biden: Watch the full presidential debate

Produced by Alessandro Xenos, Juliette Laurain and Ariana Mozafari. 

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