Local professors weigh in on what comes next for last two presidential debates

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Local political science experts say a lot has to happen in a short amount of time to institute changes for the next presidential debate.

 On Wednesday, less than 24 hours after the first debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Biden, the Commission on Presidential Debates released a statement saying change is on the way for the remaining debates

“It’s kind of amazing to see that kind of rapid response from an institution that’s usually pretty glacial,” said Dr. Nathaniel Swigger, associate professor of political science at OSU. “To see them react immediately and to react pretty overtly to the content was quite extraordinary.”  

Dr. Swigger was tuned into the debate, as was Dr. Suzanne Marilley, an associate professor of political science at Capital University. 

“I was surprised to see the commission made this gesture and decision this rapidly,” Dr. Marilley said. “It made me wonder just who had gone to them and I have to imagine whoever it was, was really influential and not just candidates.

According to both professors, several weeks, if not months, go into finalizing terms for debates. The next presidential debate is scheduled for October 15.  

“I have to imagine this is going to be a tall task to figure this out,” said Dr. Marilley.  

The Commission on Presidential Debates has not said exactly what additions or changes are going to be made. In its statement released Wednesday, the nonpartisan organization said those details would be announced “shortly.”

Dr. Marilley and Dr. Swigger say some possible options could be adding someone who is strictly a time keeper, muting mics, or penalizing a candidate for speaking out of order by giving the other candidate more time. The key is both candidates have to agree to any changes. 

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