VIRTUAL: President's Club Conversation on Scoring the Presidential Debates with Todd Graham

Todd Graham, Director of Debate, Southern Illinois University. Moderated by Susan Kahan.

President's Club Conversation on Scoring the Presidential Debates with Todd Graham

On September 29, this year’s presidential candidates take the stage for their first debate — a pivotal moment to sway undecided voters. The debates offer candidates a platform to present their stance on a range of policy issues, appeal to voters on a personal level, and ultimately share their vision of the United States. This year’s debates are a critical opportunity for both candidates to connect with American voters given COVID-19’s disruption of traditional campaigning. But the success, or failure, of each candidate goes far beyond their response to each question. Join Todd Graham as he explains and critiques candidates’ past techniques and provides insight on what to look out for during the first presidential debate.

Immediately following the discussion, members are invited to stay for the Last Call with the Council, a newly created virtual networking session during the break between the program adjournment and the start of the debate!

The Financial Times, our media partner for our America in 2020 event series, is launching its first ever “watch-along” for the first presidential debate. You can follow along with US managing editor Peter Spiegel and other FT experts as they analyze the debate and provide context in real time.

Speaker Bio


"Trump-Biden debate moderators face a huge challenge", Todd Graham, CNN, 09/25/2020

"Debate coach: The best debate advice Joe Biden will ever get", Todd Graham, CNN, 09/23/2020

"Debate coach: Biden had his best night to date", Todd Graham, CNN, 03/16/2020

"Debate coach: This candidate gets an F", Todd Graham, CNN, 01/15/2020

"Debate coach: Smile. Look energized. Don't blow it.", Todd Graham, CNN, 06/22/2019


7:00 p.m. CDT 
Live Stream Begins

7:25 p.m. CDT 

7:45 p.m. CDT
Last Call with the Council  

8:00 p.m. CDT
Program Adjourns