Luke Vander Ploeg is the producer of The Daily Podcast.
At the start of Thursday night’s debate its moderator, Kristen Welker of NBC News, delivered a polite but firm instruction: The matchup should not be a repeat of the chaos of last month’s debate. It was a calmer affair and, for the first few segments, a more structured and linear exchange of views. President Trump, whose interruptions came to define the first debate, was more restrained, seemingly heeding advice that keeping to the rules of the debate would render his message more effective. And while there were no breakthrough moments for Joseph R. Biden Jr., the former vice president managed to make more of a case for himself than he did last month, on issues such as the coronavirus and economic support for families and businesses in distress. Alexander Burns, a national political correspondent, gives us a recap of the night’s events and explores what it means for an election that is just 11 days away. Guest: Alexander Burns, a national political correspondent for The New York Times. For more information on today’s episode, visit Background reading: While the tenor of Thursday’s forum was more sedate, the conflict in matters of substance and vision could not have been more dramatic.Here are some highlights from last night’s debate. 
The winner-take-all system used by the Electoral College in the United States appears nowhere in the Constitution. It awards all of a state’s electors to the candidate with the most votes, no matter how small the margin of victory. Critics say that means millions of votes are effectively ignored.The fairness of the Electoral College was seriously questioned in the 1960s. Amid the civil rights push, changes to the system were framed as the last step of democratization. But a constitutional amendment to introduce a national popular vote for president was eventually killed by segregationist senators in 1970.Desire for an overhaul dwindled until the elections of 2000 and 2016, when the system’s flaws again came to the fore. In both instances, the men who became president had lost the popular vote.Jesse Wegman, a member of The Times’s editorial board, describes how the winner-take-all system came about and how the Electoral College could be modified.Guest: Jesse Wegman, a member of The New York Times’s editorial board.For more information on today’s episode, visit Background reading: Here’s a guide to how the Electoral College works.Watch Jesse’s explainer, from our Opinion section, on how President Trump could win the election — even if he loses.
Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have invested a significant amount of time and money trying to avoid the mistakes made during the 2016 election.A test of those new policies came last week, when The New York Post published a story that contained supposedly incriminating documents and pictures taken from the laptop of Hunter Biden. The provenance and authenticity of that information is still in question, and Joe Biden’s campaign has rejected the assertions.We speak to Kevin Roose, a technology columnist for The Times, about how the episode reveals the tension between fighting misinformation and protecting free speech.Guest: Kevin Roose, a technology columnist for The New York Times.For more information on today’s episode, visit Background reading: Here’s Kevin’s full report on the efforts by Twitter and Facebook to limit the spread of the Hunter Biden story.The New York Post published the piece despite doubts within the paper’s newsroom — some reporters withheld their bylines and questioned the credibility of the article.Joe Biden’s campaign has rejected the assertions made in the story.
In the struggle to control the U.S. Senate, one race in North Carolina — where the Republican incumbent, Thom Tillis, is trying to hold off his Democratic challenger, Cal Cunningham — could be crucial.North Carolina is a classic purple state with a split political mind: progressive in some quarters, while firmly steeped in Southern conservative tradition in others.Two bombshells have recently upended the race: Mr. Tillis fell ill with the coronavirus after attending an event for Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination without a mask. And Mr. Cunningham’s image was sullied by the emergence of text messages showing that he had engaged in an extramarital affair.Jonathan Martin, a national political correspondent for The Times, talks us through the race and examines the factors that could determine who prevails.Guest: Jonathan Martin, a national political correspondent for The New York Times.For more information on today’s episode, visit Background reading: North Carolina is a linchpin in the 2020 election — the presidency and the Senate could hinge on results in the state.Here’s how the critical senate race was engulfed in chaos in a single night.
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New York, New York, United States of America
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2 weeks, 4 days
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