Live Blog: Second Presidential Debate 2020

Post-Debate Update 10:56p.m.

Thank you all for viewing the debate with us. Thanks to the Debate team and The Equinox. Catch us on election night (Nov. 3) from 8pm to 12am where we will provide live coverage of election results!

Post-Debate Update 10:50p.m.

Yeah, I agree with that. There was much more structure with the mute. I think the moderator was great tonight. I will probably focus on this for the next couple of days and have my thoughts re-evaluated, but this was a good debate for both candidates. Trump was the most behaved and postured on his responses for most of the debate. I did think that was Biden’s best debate this year, much better than his first debate. It’s going to be polls after to see where voters thought, but remember most of it people already made up their mind. We’ll see whether things will shift when there are 11-12 days left. We’ll see.

Post-Debate Update 10:46p.m.

So, Nadia, what did you think?

NADIA: Honestly John, this second Presidential Debate has spoken about some topics that have been on my mind and has been more in depth than last time around. There seemed to have been an emphasis from Biden that he wants unity and focuses more about the health of the United States citizens.


Ahh, the unity question. It is your inauguration day, what are you saying to the Americans who did not vote for you?


America: Oh gosh, it’s longer than 10:30?


“Show the tape” – Biden. 

Another Biden line: “Give me a break.” 


Nadia, does Flint even have clean water? 

NADIA: Unfortunately John, Flint still does not have clean water.


I don’t know why Trump would boost his choice to step out of the Paris Accord when Americans support it.


Trump has stated that under this administration, the carbon emissions are at an all-time low compared to the last 35 years


The topic moves to climate change


“I am the least racist person in this room”- Trump.


Trump moves from race back to foreign topics.


Biden says that he will reform the justice system on helping the prisoners to get through rehabilitation to those who have been released out.


“Nobody has done more things for the black race than Donald Trump with the exception to Abraham Lincoln” -Trump


There was a brief moment where after Biden describes the 545 children that lost their parents, I believed Trump said “go ahead,” but it sounded like “good.” I believe it’s the former.


Only a little while longer…..


They moved into the topic of race in America.


Nadia, did Trump say the children were brought in by…. Coyotes?

NADIA: Indeed Trump did John. He says that these children were brought here through coyotes, drug cartels and gangs. Kind of generalizing their parents.


“I’ll be president of the United States, not Vice President of the United States” -Biden


Trump has generalized immigrants to be brought here by coyotes, drug cartels, and gangs.


News stories said parents can’t be found for 545 migrant children, who were separated at the border because of Trump’s policy.


Trump says that he will consider raising the minimum wage to $15 to an extent. He says that it will depend on each state.


“I’m running as a proud Democrat, but I’m going to be an American president” – Biden


Always finds somehow some way goes back to the topic about money!! He claims that the stock market will crash if Biden is elected, on a topic about American families.


It’s one thing when you’re a candidate that has a known record of supporting policies like Medicare-for-All, and another when you’re running a candidate that has a moderate record (as I wrote this, Biden declared that Trump is running against himself because he beat the other Democratic candidates). 


“I think we’re going to win the House [of Representatives]” – Trump on his party’s chances even though Democrats have a 96 percent chance of holding the house.


NADIA: John, did he just say Biden Care????


JOHNATHAN: Yes which baffles me. Not sure if it is consequential or not, but definitely eye-popping.


The topic has changed to American Families.


Nadia, at least 9 people in a row noted the Malarkey note saying “HE SAID MALARKEY!” It’s one of Biden’s favorite words to use.


The moderator changes the topic to North Korea. Trump explains the relationship between the leader of North Korea. Says that to date, there has been no war.


Jacob Rubashkin, reporter on Inside Elections, said, “Trump is running a very effective campaign against Hunter Biden. Hunter Biden’s electoral chances are suffering greatly tonight.”


“There’s a reason for why he’s bringing up this malarkey” – Biden with his favorite one liner.


It’s kind of hard to figure what a “good night” for Trump is — where he would narrow the gap in the polls. He is the president and the media would be more fixated on Trump and less on Biden. My guess is that Trump would “win” if Biden messes up badly, and so far, that is not happening. Biden’s relatively strong compared to the last debate.


Trump starts talking about Hunter Biden, Biden’s son.


Biden tries to clear the air concerning Ukraine and China.


I thought Trump’s performance had been better than the first, but he always goes down deep partisan attacks.


Trump has been under audit since at least 2016.


Biden brings up Trump’s business account in China.


“I knew all about that” – Trump on last night’s news.


This segment includes the new story on Iran and Russia. Foreign-linked emails from the name of “Proud Boys” were sent to Democratic voters in Florida threatening them to vote for Trump.


The 25 mins of this debate have been dedicated to Coronavirus. Coronavirus response remains a problem for President Trump where 57.5% of Americans disapprove of Trump’s response to COVID-19.


“I don’t look at this the way that he does – blue states and red states – they’re all the United States” – Biden.


Biden denied calling Trump xenophobic on closing China’s border.


Trump argues for the reopening schools and the economy. Biden asked for a 30 second response which he responded directly to the camera.


The non interruption sounds nice, but feels a little weird.


Trump said COVID is going away, but it seems that there has been a surge recently.


“Some people would call it a cure… I’m immune” – Trump. Well… I’m not sure that is correct.


“2.2 million people were expected to die” – President Trump.


They are using the mute button!!!

Pre Debate Update 8:56p.m.

I honestly don’t know what to expect whether or not how it will affect the margins. Trump needs a comeback and to narrow the race in the final weeks of the campaign. Without it, he would be relying on a polling error, a bigger one that would be needed rather than one he got in 2016. The Hunter story is going to be used a lot, though it did not really impact  Biden’s favorabilities and maybe it is a story that the voters just don’t care about. However, tomorrow is the anniversary of the Comey Letter that could have cost Clinton the election (the letter came on Oct. 28 which was 11 days left, but because the election day is closer, the 23rd represents the 11 days left). 

Pre Debate Update 8:49p.m.

I have normally come into this debate without a major expectation, and I will also be doing that tonight. However, a secret for anyone coming in for the first time: debates are stressful to watch. This debate is likely not going to be different. There is a mute option which will be very interesting to see how that plays out. One of the major points that Trump is going to make is concerning Hunter Biden’s emails, which if it confuses you as much as it does with myself, here’s a great Politico article that best summarizes the situation and why news organizations have been very cautious reporting on it. 

Do you have any expectations, hopes, or interests heading into tonight Nadia? 

NADIA: Hi John, I hope you’re having a great night, as for tonight’s debate, I’m expecting the candidates to speak fully on the topics that they get asked. I’m quite interested in what the topics this time around will be.

Pre Debate Update 8:32 p.m.

Hello and welcome to The Equinox’s Live Blog for the second and last 2020 Presidential Debate. Tonight, President Donald Trump is facing off with the Democratic candidate Joe Biden. My name is Johnathan Miller, I cover politics for The Equinox and I’m joined by co-writer Nadia Tejeda, the producer is Elizabeth Scalzo, Editor-in-Chief of The Equinox, meme specialist Nancy Sanchez, the social media team: Chloe Colmenares and Naniyah McClain, and managing editor Amaya Morales. 

Tonight is the final debate until Election Day. There is major news circulating around the country the past few days that includes Iran and Russia interfering in the election, the push around Hunter Biden’s email release, and the rise of the coronavirus cases

This is Trump’s final chance to narrow the large gap between himself and Biden, but it might have limited effect. Almost 48 million votes have already been cast across all 50 states, both through mail and in-person.

The debate moderator tonight is Kristen Welker of NBC News. It will be over 90 minutes and will cover the following topics: 

  • fighting the coronavirus, 
  • American families,
  • race in America,
  • climate change,
  • national security, 
  • and leadership. 

There are numerous outlets that will preview the debate. Here are some of the links to watch:




Johnathan Miller (Twitter: @JMiller_NJ) is a senior political science major from Lacey, N.J. He is glad to join the Equinox in covering the 2020 Presidential Election for students and to help students understand and participate in the political process.

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Democratic nominee Joe Biden and President Donald Trump go head to head in the second Presidential Debate of 2020. (Art by Naniyah McClain).