Media

CNN to host first 'drive-in town hall' with Biden on Thursday

CNN says it will host a "drive-in town hall" with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Thursday night, which the network calls "the latest adaptation to campaigning during the coronavirus pandemic."

The former vice president will take questions from voters in the parking lot of PNC Field in Moosic, Pa., starting at 8 p.m.

"Thirty-five cars will file into the parking lot, where a stage and monitors have been set up, and audience members and cars will be spaced out to comply with social distancing guidelines," said Kate Lunger, the vice president of CNN's special events team.

"There will be about 100 people in attendance at PNC Field, which is the home of the minor league baseball team the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. The event location is a short drive from Biden's childhood home in Scranton, Pennsylvania," CNN's announcement adds.

Anchor Anderson Cooper will moderate.

"In these extraordinary times, we're taking these extraordinary measures to try to bring the presidential campaign to the people, which has obviously been very difficult because campaigning is difficult, if not near impossible," said Mark Preston, CNN's vice president of political and special events programming and a senior political analyst.

Voters at the town hall can either listen to an FM station on their car radio to hear the town hall or have the option to sit next to their car to watch it, according to Lunger.

The control room will be back in Washington, D.C.

"The good news is we have great teams across all the company who've done these town halls with us for the last few years, so everybody knows their role but everyone's trying to figure out how to operate in this new world in the same way while being COVID-safe," Lunger said.

Biden and President Trump are set to participate in the first of their three debates on Sept. 29 in Cleveland, with Fox News's Chris Wallace moderating the event.

The RealClearPolitics index of polls shows a tight race in the battleground states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina and Arizona, with Biden leading the incumbent by an average of 3.7 points.

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