In one corner, Biden. In the other, Trump. Let’s start the debate!

Less than five months from election day, the presidential race is entering a new phase. President Biden and former President Trump will go head-to-head tonight, June 27, in their first presidential debate.

This debate is the earliest in history. Ninety minutes long and broadcast on CNN with simulcasts on other networks and online, it will be governed by several rules that both parties agreed to, such as no pre-written notes. There will be no live audience, and the mic will be muted for one when the other is speaking. 

According to the Pew Research Center, more than 73 million people watched some of the first Trump-Biden debate in 2020. This year, a high viewership is also expected, particularly because of the legal issues surrounding both former President Trump and Biden’s son Hunter. The candidates’ cognitive abilities and emotional steadiness could also arise during the discussion. 

Here are the issues that are expected to come up during the debate: 


  • Immigration is one of the leading issues in this campaign and likely in the debate. According to Gallup, for the third straight month, 27% of voters consider it the most important problem facing the U.S. 
  • Biden reversed many of the Trump administration’s immigration policies, then brought some back to address undocumented border crossings reaching record levels. He also recently announced sweeping new protections for some undocumented immigrants married to U.S. citizens, providing a shield from deportation and a path to citizenship.
  • Trump, on the other hand, wants a massive deportation plan that involves detaining migrants in large camps, as well as a proposal to end birthright citizenship. In a Time Magazine interview, he said he aims to deport between 15 to 20 million people if reelected.


  • Recent polls from the Pew Research Center show that nearly three-quarters of Americans (73%) rate “strengthening the economy” as a top priority.
  • Inflation might be one of the top issues both candidates will focus on. Inflation peaked at 9% in 2022, following Russia’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, which led to sharp increases globally in energy and food prices. Trump has tried to blame that high inflation number on Biden’s economic policies, but it has steadied at about 3%, and the monthly jobs report has consistently been good news for the current White House. 
  • While the current White House has focused on funds to support manufacturing, infrastructure, and clean energy and increase job opportunities, the Trump administration passed a sweeping tax cut that the former president wants to bring back should he get a second term. He has also discussed implementing tariffs on all imports to the U.S. and reversing many of Biden’s plans to transition the country to clean energy if he is reelected.


  • According to a Gallup poll, nearly a third of U.S. voters say they would only vote for a candidate for major office who shares their views on abortion.
  • Biden supports federal abortion protections, and he has encouraged Congress to pass a law that would guarantee abortion rights nationwide. He also supports legal access to medication abortion and believes that mifepristone, one of the pills used in the process, should remain legally available. While the Supreme Court recently backed access to the pill, the court ruled only on whether opponents had the right to sue, and the issue is expected to come up again.  
  • Trump is against abortion protections, having backed nationwide limitations during his time in office, and he frequently mentions his role in appointing justices to the high court who helped overturn Roe v. Wade. In April, Trump said that states should be responsible for deciding on access to and restrictions on abortions. He mentioned that he wouldn’t approve a nationwide abortion ban, but he didn’t clarify his stance on attempting to restrict access to the abortion pill mifepristone.
  • Abortion is banned in 14 states at all stages and after six weeks in three others, including Florida.

Israel vs. Gaza and Ukraine aid: 

  • The candidates may also touch on international politics, including the Israel-Hamas war and the ongoing situation in Ukraine. Voters remain divided on whether the U.S. should send military aid to Ukraine and Israel.

Social Security and Medicare: 

  • President Biden has pledged to protect Social Security and Medicare benefits. He passed legislation expanding Medicare’s ability to negotiate drug prices and proposed increasing Medicare taxes for wealthy Americans. He has also suggested raising taxes on the wealthy to support Social Security’s financial stability. While Trump has said he considers himself a Social Security and Medicare protector and couldn’t touch either program, he said just the opposite a few days ago and now would support cuts.

After the debate: 

The second presidential debate is scheduled for Sept. 10. 

Trump has said he will announce his pick for vice president in the upcoming weeks, likely right before or at the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee next month.

Vice President Kamala Harris has agreed to participate in a debate. The date is yet to be determined. 

Amelia Orjuela wrote the story and Anthony Cruz edited the video story.

Amelia Orjuela Da Silva is a senior majoring in digital journalism with a minor in social media and E-marketing analytics. After graduation, she wishes to pursue a career in the entertainment field as a writer/reporter to shine a light on stories that need to be discovered.

Anthony Cruz is a freshmen majoring in Digital Media and Communications. He hopes to pursue a career in sports broadcasting.