How Many Vice Presidential Debates Are There? Not As Many As You'd Think


The big presidential campaign news of the moment, of course, is the upcoming debate between Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump. I won't lie to you; I'm more excited about this than I was to see Luke Skywalker's epic lightsaber duel with Darth Vader and I was only 7 when I saw that. So you can imagine. But what about the potential vice presidential debates? Will we see them square off as well, or will it be more like old-timey duels, where they will act as seconds in case their partner gets ousted?

No, unfortunately that is not the way this cookie crumbles. While Clinton and Trump are scheduled to face off in a series of debates beginning Monday, Sept. 26 in Hempstead, New York, there will only be one vice presidential debate. The vice presidential candidates will have their chance to strut their stuff for viewers on Oct. 4 at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia. The debate will begin at 9 p.m. Eastern Time and will last for 90 minutes, airing on NBC. Facebook and Twitter will also be livestreaming the debates. There are nine sections to the vice presidential debate, each section 10 minutes long. The debate will be moderated by Elaine Quijano, CBSN anchor and correspondent for CBS News.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton arrives with her running mate Tim Kaine at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport September 5, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

The debate between Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine and Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence will take place on Tim Kaine's home turf of Virginia. Kaine has served as a senator for Virginia since 2012. Both Kaine and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence are busy at the moment with debate prep; unfortunately Libertarian vice presidential candidate Bill Weld and Ajamu Baraka failed to qualify for the debates.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) whispers in the ear of US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta during a reception hosted by Colin Barnett, Premier of Western Australia, at the Indiana Teahouse at Cottesloe Beach near Perth on November 14, 2012. In what could be her final visit Down Under in her current job, Clinton joined Panetta for talks with Australian counterparts Bob Carr and Stephen Smith. AFP PHOTO / POOL / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Kaine has reportedly been practicing his debate responses, with lawyer and agent Robert Barnett playing the part of Mike Pence, according to Politico. Barnett has experience with debate prep, as he played the part of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in mock debate sessions with Hillary Clinton. Barnett has done his due diligence, studying Pence thoroughly (also known as The Quiet One on the Republican ticket).

WEST BEND, WI - AUGUST 16: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker introduces Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump as he gets ready to speak at a rally on August 16, 2016 in West Bend, Wisconsin. (Photo by Darren Hauck/Getty Images)Darren Hauck/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Pence has, rather interestingly, been using Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in his debate prep. Walker had a very brief campaign in the 2016 election, but was the first to bow out. He is also noteworthy as one of the few establishment Republicans to throw his weight behind Trump at the Republican National Convention, according to CNN.

While the debates between Clinton and Trump promise to be riveting, this vice presidential debate should prove enlightening as well. Kaine and Pence have remained very much shadowy, background figures. It will be interesting to see how they do with their time in the sun.