WASHINGTON (SBG) — The traditional, typical presidential debates we've come to know and expect over the decades and the chaotic and immediate dissecting afterward have a cloud of question marks looming overhead.
Already two of the three hosts, Notre Dame and the University of Michigan, have bailed, citing coronavirus concerns, forcing them to find new homes, which they have.
But now, many suggest they'll have even less importance if much of the country ends up using mail-in ballots instead of voting in-person since votes might be sent in well before those one-on-one sparring sessions.
Would that matter though?
“They will matter less this time than in the past because voters know the candidates. We know Donald Trump. We know who he is. We knew him from his reality show. We know him from the White House," explained Peter Loge, an Associate Professor at the George Washington University. "We know Vice President Biden. He was there for eight years.”
That fact alone has sparked a series of headlines suggesting the debates could — maybe — should be scrapped altogether.
Critics say they've deteriorated into insults and one-liners, with some candidates looking too often to score viral moments, and that policies are just taking a backseat to personality fights.
"Most research finds that mostly debates mostly don't’ matter," Loge continued. "There’ll be a little bit of a bump for a couple days or week, then things kind of resort to the norm.”
But both camps tell Sinclair they're looking forward to the debates, even more so because of the coronavirus and the prospect of mail-in ballots.
Biden's team says he's anxious to directly confront Trump, while the president's team says they'd like to do so as early as possible to account for people voting early.