Tonight’s debate: Where to watch, what to expect

DENVER – Anyone who wants to watch tonight’s presidential debate will have plenty of options.

In fact, viewers who aren’t interested in politics might need to rent a movie.

All four major television networks – NBC, ABC, Fox and CBS – will carry the debate between President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney starting at 7 p.m.

PBS also will broadcast the debate, along with C-SPAN and four other cable channels – CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and CNBC.

Social media will be all over it, too. Expect a steady stream of commentary on Twitter by searching for the official hashtag, #debates.

Facebook will have video interviews of Colorado leaders throughout the afternoon, including Gov. John Hickenlooper at 3:30 p.m. Facebook’s official link to its debate videos is http://bit.ly/politicslive.

Jim Lehrer, executive editor of the PBS Newshour, will be the debate moderator.

The 90-minute event will be split into six segments and will focus on domestic policy.

Lehrer, who has moderated 11 previous debates, chose the question topics. The first three segments will focus on the economy. The last three topics will be health care, the role of the government and “governing.”

The University of Denver will host the event, which will be the first presidential debate ever in Colorado and only the second in the Mountain West. Tempe, Ariz., hosted a debate between former President George W. Bush and Democrat John Kerry in 2004.

It will be the first of three Obama-Romney debates in the next three weeks.

On Oct. 16, the candidates will meet for a town hall-format debate at Hofstra University in New York, with questions about foreign and domestic topics. The last debate will be about foreign affairs. It will be Oct. 22 at Lynn University in Florida.

Vice President Joe Biden and Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, will square off for their only debate Oct. 11 at Centre College in Kentucky.

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