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What are you expecting from Thursday's historic presidential debate? KC voters weigh in

Tari Doile
Posted at 4:55 PM, Jun 27, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will face off in a historic presidential debate Thursday night.

The 90-minute event will be hosted by CNN and simulcast on NBC News NOW.

Live coverage starts at 7 p.m. ET, with the actual debate starting at 9 p.m. ET.

About 6 in 10 U.S. adults say they are "extremely" or "very" likely to watch the debate live, in clips, read about, or listen to commentary about the performance of the candidates in the news or social media, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

When it comes to weighing in on a potential future president, voters in Independence, Missouri, knows what it takes.

The hometown of former President Harry Truman holds lots of voters like Martha Kelso who know what they want to hear.

Martha Kelso
Martha Kelso

"I'd like to see them have some answers — not just yell at each other," she said. "Border Patrol, health insurance — we've got a major health insurance that's leaving the market for us old people, so that's not going to be there."

Tari Doile knows what she wants to hear too.

“Women's rights,” Doile said. "It's going backwards instead of forwards. I was a teenager in the late 70s, and I feel like my granddaughters have less rights now than what I did 40 years ago."

Tari Doile
Tari Doile

This debate is the first time an incumbent and a former president have ever faced off in a presidential debate.

It’s also the first time both candidates have shared a debate stage since 2020.

“I don't think Biden's in any shape to catch up with questions and all that kind of stuff," voter Kelly Ryan said. “And then a lot of people don't like Trump.”

Kelly Ryan
Kelly Ryan

Voters are excited for some of the debate's features like muted microphones and no audience.

“I think it's great,” Doile said. “Because one candidate doesn't know when to keep his mouth shut.”

Voters varied in whether they're watching, but most agree the debate won't change much about how they'll vote.”

“My mind's made-up already,” Kelso said of her vote. “But the lesser of two evils.”

They're just hoping when the candidates take the stage, they'll actually debate.

“I think it's going to be more of an argument than a debate,” Kelly said.