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COVID-19, economy will likely be big topics during presidential debate, professor says

Posted at 6:41 PM, Sep 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-29 18:41:46-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A Calvin University political science professor says Tuesday night’s presidential debate will probably come down to the country’s COVID-19 response and the economy.

Professor Doug Koopman believes President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden will debate over whether the response to the pandemic was better than we could’ve expected in March or worse.

“Otherwise, other than that I expect health care to come up, particularly by Joe Biden as he connects that to the Supreme Court nomination,” Koopman said. “That seems to be the Democratic strategy – to connect Amy Coney Barrett, who has a good personality and a good background, but to the issue of health care.”

The Biden campaign will also likely want to talk about the candidates’ tax returns, which is why Biden and running mate Kamala Harris released theirs earlier Tuesday.

But what will decide who wins the first presidential debate?

“I do think the deciding factor will be if Joe Biden comes off as calm and competent and collected,” Koopman said. “Trump bungling an issue – it'll be interesting to see how that goes.”

Key Dates and Deadlines

Thursday, Sept. 24: Early voting begins, absentee ballots begin being mailed
Monday, Oct. 19: Online, postmarked-by voter registration deadline
Tuesday, Oct. 20 through 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 3: In-person registration allowed with local clerk
Friday, Oct. 30 at 5 p.m.: Deadline to request absentee ballot by mail
Monday, Nov. 2: Absentee/mail-in postmarked-by deadline
Tuesday, Nov. 3: In-person voting