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Tracking the Attacks in the First Presidential Debate

Tracking the Attacks in the First Presidential Debate

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The New York Times is tracking speaking time during this year’s first debate between President Biden and former President Donald J. Trump, and breaking down how much time the candidates spend attacking and talking over each other. The debate began at 9 p.m. Eastern time.

Time spent attacking opponent’s policies or character

Note: Data is tracked live and may be revised.

Presidential debates are a delicate balance highlighting a candidate’s accomplishments and attacking their opponent. The Times is tracking how much of each candidate’s time is directed at his opponent, rather than spent on his own records and policies.

How tonight’s debate compares with 2020’s debates

Percentage of time the candidates spend attacking each other’s policies and character.

2024 1st debate In progress

How much are the candidates talking over each other?

Percentage of time Biden and Trump speak simultaneously.

2024 1st debate In progress

In an effort to avoid interruptions and cross talk, CNN, the debate’s host, announced it would mute each man’s microphone when it is not his turn to speak. Each candidate has been given two minutes to answer questions, followed by one-minute rebuttals and responses to the rebuttals.

The candidate’s microphones were not muted during the first debate in 2020, but they were muted some of the time during the final debate.

Which issues are giving rise to the most attacks?

How much time the candidates attack each other on key issues.

Experts say they are watching to see whether Mr. Trump again relies on personal attacks and name-calling, and whether or not Mr. Biden focuses his attacks on Mr. Trump’s recent felony convictions.

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