Presidential Debate Rules and Format | Teacher Tools and Tips |

How the rules and format of the U.S. presidential debates have changed throughout history.


excerpt: "The first televised presidential debate was a huge step for modern politics. While the majority of radio listeners considered Richard Nixon the winner, television gave John Kennedy a clear advantage. Kennedy, who was tan, fit, and well-rested, was considered the winner by television viewers who didn’t appeal to Nixon, a pale and sweaty mess after being ill for weeks. The Great Debates displayed television’s power to move campaigns forward. Debate rules and formats continue to evolve, as do the people in charge."