NBC rewards Trump with his own town hall after he ditches debate with Biden

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The event will compete with a Biden town hall taking place at the exact same time on ABC.

NBC News announced on Wednesday that it will hold a 60-minute town hall event with Donald Trump on Thursday night. The town hall replaces the formal debate that was scheduled to take place on Thursday.

Trump pulled out of the second event with Biden after the Commission on Presidential Debates said it would be virtual following Trump's diagnosis with the coronavirus and a growing outbreak at the White House.

Trump's refused to participate in a virtual debate, even though Democratic nominee Joe Biden wanted it to go on.

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After Trump forced the event to be canceled, Biden agreed to hold his own town hall event with ABC News.

And now, one day before that town hall, scheduled for Oct. 15 at 8 p.m. ET, NBC News announced it will hold its own competing 90-minute town hall with Trump at the very same time.

Trump gave a widely panned performance at the first debate in September. His constant interrupting, lying, and even dog whistle to white supremacists was a turn off to voters, with polls showing voters thought Biden won the debate by a large margin.

Since that debate, Trump's poll numbers have fallen dramatically.

On Sept. 29 — the day of the first debate — Biden led Trump in FiveThirtyEight's national polling average by 7.1%.

Today, Biden holds a 10.7% lead in that average — the biggest margin of the entire race.

That 3-point jump in just a two-week span is remarkable given how steady the race has been this entire cycle.

Trump has never once led Biden in the national polling average, and his deficit is widening with less than three weeks to go until Nov. 3.

Now, with three weeks to go, Trump will have to change the trajectory of the race — a monumental task given polls show almost everyone has their minds made up, with more than 13 million ballots already cast.

A previous version of this story incorrectly stated Donald Trump's town hall on NBC would run for 90 minutes on Thursday night. It's scheduled for 60 minutes.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.