President Biden, Donald Trump get ready for first presidential debate

The first presidential debate of 2024 is being held in Atlanta, and there is a lot of anticipation and anxiety about this high-stakes rematch. 

The face off on Thursday, June 27, between Joe Biden and Donald Trump is the first presidential election in modern history that pits an incumbent president against a former president. 

The last one involved Teddy Roosevelt and William Taft. While there were no direct debates in the 1912 campaign, it’s worth noting that TR and Taft lost to Woodrow Wilson. That history could give a third-party candidate like Robert F. Kennedy Jr. some hope. Unfortunately for Kennedy, he will not be on the stage for Thursday's debate in Atlanta to make his pitch as a viable option.

The Biden and Trump campaigns, meanwhile, hope they will get a bump in the polls, and will reassure voters that their age and personalities are not the main issue to focus on. 

There is the expectation that Biden will call Trump a convicted felon and Trump will describe Biden as incompetent. But that could be muted. CNN reportedly is planning to restrict reporter access to the debate studio and will not have the debate done live. There will be a 1 to 2-minute tape delay of the debate which could allow for certain parts to be edited out. 

Even with the tight rules, some viewers worry the debate is going to become a verbal fist fight.

"It's already been that. It's already been there. I mean, we're already past that line," said Charlie Ordonez.

There are debate rules that some viewers told us they do like.

"You know, I always look forward to the debates, but I am so thrilled to learn that their microphones are going to be muted. If they start to interrupt each other, because that always seems to interfere with the process in getting to the actual answers," said Jennifer Fagan.

The tape delay could cut into some extra debate-watching fun. Some media outlets have produced debate topic bingo cards for viewers to play.

To learn what voters are anticipating will happen, FOX 7 asked what they want to hear from the candidates.

"I'd like the two contestants to talk more about the economy, inflation and how they're going to improve American lives in terms of creating more jobs for the youth, especially," said James Onsomu from Arlington.

The border is a hot issue for Houston resident Sergio Rubalcava.


"I really want them to talk about what's going on at the border and how it is that we're going to fix this, because blaming it just on Mexico isn't cutting it. I am Mexican also, so that's not cutting it. So we need to address that because we just witnessed in Houston. I'm from Houston, Texas, right now. We just witnessed a girl. She was only 12 years old. She was raped, and she was murdered by two Venezuelans," said Rubalcava.

Polls do show the crisis on the border remains a top issue in Texas, which is why Bryan Hadley wants the candidates to debate it.

"Want to hear a real, honest discussion about the border," said Hadley.

Mass shootings should also be discussed, according to Austin voter Roger Lalime.

"Assault rifles. Eliminate them now," said Lalime.

Another historical footnote to the debate is Grover Cleveland. He pulled off what Donald Trump is now attempting to do. 

President Cleveland is the only president in U.S. history to serve 2 non-consecutive terms. His first term was in 1884 and his return in 1892.