How the US election debates work

  • Barack Obama and Mitt Romney will have three debates in the run-up to the 2012 US Presidential election.
  • The first debate will take place in an ice hockey arena at the University of Denver, Colorado.
  • Around 50 million Americans will watch today's 90 minute debate, which will focus on domestic policy and the state of the economy.
  • On October 11 the solitary vice-presidential debate between Joe Biden and Republican candidate Paul Ryan will take place. They will focus on domestic and foreign issues.
  • The second debate on October 16 in New York will give members of the general public a chance to quiz both men on domestic and foreign issues.
  • The final debate six days later in Florida will concentrate on foreign policy.
  • Obama currently leads in the polls.