Presidential Debate Over Presidential Debates

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With the 2016 election in full throttle, Kennedy and Nixon’s presidential debates of 1960 are still very much a part of American democracy. Televised presidential debates have become a backbone in an American election. Although these debates are now considered a norm in American politics, this has not always the case. Even after the first time a presidential debate was held between presidential candidates from across the aisle, it took another 16 years for another debate to occur. It is highly doubtful that either Nixon or Kennedy, much less anyone else of that time period, would have been able to foresee the effects of their debate. The presidential debates between Kennedy and Nixon have shape American politics for what seemed like the better but as more and more research is published, this claim is starting to fall apart. While presidential debates offer the public a chance to compare and contrast the Republican and Democratic presidential candidate, they have an impact on viewers that is not always positive. Rather, televised presidential debates impact voters across the aisle and throughout levels of political awareness. An in-depth look at the history of televised presidential debates and their impact on viewers could answer the question of whether televised presidential debates should remain a central part of the modern American democracy.
The Great Debates
John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon met in Chicago on September 26th, 1960 to make history as the first
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