Podium on standby for Biden in first Democratic presidential debate

Daily News Article - October 13, 2015


1. What did debate host CNN do to accommodate Vice President Joe Biden if he announces his candidacy for president on the day of the first Democratic primary debate?

2. What preparation has CNN made for Vice President Biden’s possible appearance at this first debate?

3. a) How many primary debates does the Democratic party have scheduled?
b) When is the second Democratic presidential primary debate?

4. a) How many Democratic presidential candidates will be in the debate if Joe Biden announces his candidacy?
b) How is Joe Biden doing in the polls before he has even announced his final decision on running for president?

5. Whether you would like Vice President Biden to run or not, do you support CNN’s change of rules to accommodate him in the debate? (Should his high poll numbers make a difference?) Explain your answer.

6. The first two Republican presidential primary debates had a record-breaking number of viewers:

How do you think Vice President Biden’s participation will affect the number of viewers in the Democratic debate?

CHALLENGE: Watch tonight’s debate between the candidates. Pay attention to the questions the moderators ask. Fill in the “Presidential Primary Debate” chart for the questions below:

1. List the candidates who took part in this debate.

2. List three questions asked by the moderator(s).

3. Which question do you think was the most important? Explain your choice.

4. For which question(s) did one or more candidates not give a direct answer, or not clearly answer the question?

5. A debate moderator’s role is to act as a neutral participant in a debate, to hold participants to time limits and to try to keep them from straying off the topic of the questions being raised in the debate. Do you think the moderator(s) in this debate fulfilled this role? Explain your answer.

6. a) Do you think the questions chosen by the moderator(s) helped viewers understand the candidates’ positions on foreign and domestic issues? Explain your answer.
b) Were the moderator’s questions fair to every candidate? Explain your answer.

NOTE: Tonight’s debate is sponsored by CNN and Nevada Democratic Party.