President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden will square off for 90 minutes in their final debate Thursday night, but the biggest risk for each candidate comes more from their own weaknesses and less from each other.
In one of the last potential turning points of the 2020 election, both men will seek to improve their performances Thursday night at 9 p.m. New York time in what political consultants from both parties say was a disastrous first meeting.
Trump faces the bigger challenge, as he will need to tamp down his aggressive posture from the first encounter, which cost him some support, and make the case for a second term, a line of argument he has struggled with in the past.
Biden, who is ahead by nearly 8 percentage points in the RealClearPolitics average of polls, has the simpler task of avoiding any debate-defining gaffes that change the status quo. And he needs to minimize reactions to Trump’s provocations.