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NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt signs autographs at the 9th Annual California Hall of Fame induction ceremonies at the California Museum, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015 in Sacramento, Calif. (Jos? Luis Villegas/The Sacramento Bee via AP, Pool)

These are the people who are going to moderate the presidential debates


The Commission on Presidential Debates announced NBC's Lester Holt, CNN's Anderson Cooper, ABC's Martha Raddatz, and Chris Wallace with Fox News as the moderators for the 2016 presidential debates.

CBS's Elaine Quijano will moderate the one vice presidential debate.

This announcement was expected in August, but was delayed due to the difficulty of finding moderators who could not be accused of bias.

 According to reports, the commission wanted to avoid the possibility that Trump could blame the moderator for a poor debate performance. 

Meet the moderators.

Trump is a frequent and outspoken critic of the media, especially those he thinks are unfair to him.

And Clinton, with decades in the political spotlight, has relationships with numerous journalists who would normally be considered for such a role.

NBC Nightly News anchor Holt  will moderate the first debate on Sept. 26 at Hofstra University. Raddatz of ABC and Cooper of CNN will moderate a town hall debate at Washington University of St. Louis on Oct. 9. Finally, Fox News Sunday host Wallace will get his turn at the third debate on Oct. 19 at the University of Nevada. 

The announcement has been well received. 

Quijano of CBS will moderate the vice presidential debate at Longwood University on Oct. 4.

The debates will run commercial free from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. All but the second debate will be hosted by one moderator who will spend 10 to 15 minutes on topics announced before the debates.

In the statement announcing the moderators, the co-chairs of the CPD said, "The CPD has a simple mission, to ensure that presidential debates help the public learn about the positions of the leading candidates for president and vice president."

There has been controversy surrounding debates this cycle. Donald Trump skipped a Fox News debate in January. The Democratic National Committee was criticized for having too few primary debates (they only planned for six, but ended up approving nine).

This will be the first one-on-one debate for Trump. Both candidates have reportedly been preparing in drastically different ways. Clinton is prepping by participating in fake debates, and reportedly, has struggled to find a person to play Trump. 

Trump has shied away from traditional debate prep and instead favored informal discussions with former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, conservative radio host Laura Ingraham, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and his top campaign advisors.

With the polls tightening heading into the Labor Day weekend, the unofficial start to the campaign season, the debates could make or break either of the candidates. 

The focus of each debate has not been announced yet. Last cycle, the first debate was on the economy, the second was on domestic policy and the third was on foreign policy.

To qualify for the  debates, a candidate must be polling at least at 15 percent in the average of the most recent polls from ABC-Washington Post, CBS-New York Times, CNN-Opinion Research Corporation, Fox News, and NBC-Wall Street Journal.

All of the moderators hosted a debate during the presidential primaries.

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