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July 26, 2012

Presidential debate dates set


President Barack Obama will face off with presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, beginning October 3. (UPI/Molly Riley/Pool)

WASHINGTON (UPI) -- The first of three U.S. presidential debates is set for Denver on Oct. 3, and will focus on domestic issues, the Commission on Presidential Debates said.

The commission announced the formats of this fall's presidential and vice presidential debates Wednesday. Each debate will last 90 minutes.

The first debate will have six 15-minute segments with questions selected by the moderator, CBS News reported. Each candidate will get two minutes to respond. The remainder of each segment will be a discussion of a specific issue.

The second debate is set for Oct. 16 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., the commission's Web site said. CBS said it's scheduled to be a town meeting-style format. Undecided voters, selected by the Gallup Organization, will get to ask the candidates questions.

The third and final presidential debate is set for Oct. 22 at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla., the Web site said. CBS reported the debate will be on foreign policy and the format will be the same as the domestic policy debate.

The vice presidential debate on both domestic and foreign topics is set for Oct. 11 at Centre College in Danville, Ky.

Debate moderators are set to be announced by the commission in August, CBS said.

The Web site said "candidates must appear on a sufficient number of state ballots to have a mathematical chance of winning a majority vote in the Electoral College, and have a level of support of at least 15 percent of the national electorate as determined by five selected national public opinion polling organizations, using the average of those organizations' most recent publicly reported results at the time of the determination."

President Obama and presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney appear to be the only two candidates who qualify.

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