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US election 2020: Voters prepare for Trump and Biden’s first stand-off

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image captionPreparations are underway in Cleveland for the debate

Voters around the country are set to tune in to see President Donald Trump and former Vice-President Joe Biden spar in the first presidential debate.

On the docket are topics ranging from crime and policing to the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

As the campaigns head into the final five weeks before the 3 November election, the debates are a key opportunity for both Mr Trump and Mr Biden to make their case for the presidency to the American people.

We've asked members of the BBC voter panel what they are looking for from the candidates in the debate.

Joshua Roizman is a recent college graduate and moderate Democrat voting for Joe Biden.

Why do you support your candidate?

I support candidate Biden because of his willingness to listen to the needs of the people he is leading. In addition, his political experience and values are aligned with someone I view as a strong leader for this country.

What are you looking forward to in this debate?

I am looking forward to hearing an empathetic tone and hopeful rhetoric from candidate Biden.

Brian Chellgren is an attorney and a conservative-leaning moderate who is undecided on who to vote for in the US presidential election.

Why are you still undecided?

Neither candidate supports my moderate conservative beliefs: Trump is too populist and abrasive, while Biden's platform is quite liberal despite him trying to present himself as a moderate. As seems to be the case in modern presidential elections, I'm looking for the "least bad" option.

What are you looking forward to in this debate?

Trump is a known quantity, so I am looking forward to seeing how Joe Biden responds to Donald Trump's aggressive debating style. Will Biden hold his ground and stay on message, buckle under, or fall into gaffes?

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Keirsten Greggs is a talent recruiter and a progressive voter who is undecided on who to vote for in the US presidential election.

Why are you still undecided?

Under no circumstances would I ever vote for Donald Trump, but I am undecided on casting a vote in favour of Joe Biden. To eagerly and without reservation cast a vote in Biden's favour, I need to hear him speak more on his successes than Trump's failures.

What are you looking forward to in this debate?

I'm looking forward to hearing Biden's seven-point plan to beat Covid-19, more details on his plan to help save the economy, and specifics on addressing the interests of black voters like myself who are treated like a foregone conclusion.

Ariel Hedlund is a right-leaning disabled independent voting for Donald Trump.

Why do you support your candidate?

I truly feel he loves our country as much as I do. He will fight and work harder than anyone I have ever known to protect our freedom, liberties and constitutional laws and principles.

In 2016, I hoped he would do all these things. In 2020, I have witnessed him doing these very things everyday for almost four years.

I do not want government to control our lives more than it already does, I want "We the People" to be heard and through our laws determine our destiny as a country. A vote for Trump means we steer away from socialism and preserve our way of life where anyone no matter who you are can do and be whatever they want within the law.

What are you looking forward to seeing in this debate?

I hope to see a clear picture of the beliefs and direction each man will lead our country. I want to know if our freedom, liberty and what "We the People" choose by way of the laws that were set up to establish our choices will be honoured and upheld.

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