Will CNN’s Debate rules hurt Trump?

Daily Beast
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There are a few events in every presidential campaign that matter. The upcoming presidential debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump—just over a week from now—will likely be one such moment. But who is likely to benefit from the clash?

To a certain degree, victory is contingent on the rules of the debate (CNN has announced their rules, which have been agreed on by both campaigns).

Based on what I’m seeing, the deck is stacked in Biden’s favor.

Let’s start with what might be the most important change: “Microphones will be muted throughout the debate except for the candidate whose turn it is to speak.”

It’s easy to imagine that constant interruptions could cause Biden to lose his train of thought amid the chaos, thereby creating a “senior moment” that would reinforce the narrative that says he’s too old for a second term.

On the other hand, during the first presidential debate in 2020, Trump’s attempt to exasperate Biden backfired, resulting in Biden’s best line of the night: “Will you shut up, man?” A muted mic would have deprived Biden of that zinger.

Still, the first rule of this debate probably has to be “do no harm.” And the muted mic decree seems very likely to reduce the risk for Biden.

Couple that with Trump and his minions unwisely downplaying Biden’s cognitive ability, and Biden could win the expectations game merely by showing up and not drooling on himself.

The other important CNN debate rule is that there will be no studio audience.

Even if Trump were not permitted to stack the audience with supporters (as he did during last year’s controversial CNN town hall) Trump disproportionately benefits from a live audience.

“Trump feeds off the crowd, they give him life,” one Biden adviser told Politico. “We wanted to take that away.”

They did.

Again, this rule seems almost guaranteed to aid Biden.

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Chuck comes from a lineage of journalism. He has written for some of the webs most popular news sites. He enjoys spending time outdoors, bull riding, and collecting old vinyl records. Roll Tide!