WASHINGTON – The first debate was combative. The second debate was cancelled. Now, the final debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden is finally here.
The debate will air from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. EDT, and will be moderated by NBC News White House correspondent and "Weekend Today" co-anchor Kristen Welker.
How to watch
Viewers can stream the match-up live at USATODAY.com with real-time facts and context from USA TODAY's team of experts showing on-screen during the debate. The debate also will be aired on most major networks and cable news channels, including Fox News, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, PBS and C-SPAN.
How will the debate work?
The format will be the same as the first debate, with six 15-minute segments divided to focus on different issues and questions, chosen by the moderator.
The topics will be:
Race in America
Republicans eye the final debate as perhaps Trump's last opportunity to reset a campaign in which polls show the president trailing in most major battleground states.
The drama leading up to tonight
The final debate has already been deluged by drama before either candidate has stepped on stage.
After the first debate on Sept. 29, during which Trump repeatedly interrupted former Vice President Biden, the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) announced it will mute each candidate's microphone for two minutes as their competitor answers questions – a move experts described as unprecedented in a general election presidential debate.
Welker has also been tasked with returning any time taken up by interruptions to the other candidate.
The Trump campaign has also decried the debate topics, saying they should be focused solely on foreign policy.
The second presidential debate, planned for Oct. 15., was axed after Trump declined to participate virtually following his COVID-19 diagnosis. Instead, Trump and Biden held dueling town halls on separate networks.
According to the CPD, "all required testing, masking, social distancing and other protocols" will be followed during Thursday's debate.
This includes audience members being forced to wear masks or being asked to leave. This is unlike the first debate, where members of the Trump family and other guests of the president walked into the debate in Cleveland, Ohio wearing masks but mostly declining to wear face masks during the debate despite the risks posed COVID-19.
Two days later, the president and First Lady Melania Trump announced they'd tested positive for the coronavirus. Trump has claimed he does not remember whether he was tested for COVID-19 on the day of the first debate, but says he will get tested before Thursday's match-up.
Contributing: Joey Garrison, Nicholas Wu, David Jackson, Courtney Subramanian, John Fritze USA TODAY
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Presidential debate: How to watch the showdown between Trump and Biden