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Clinton vs. Trump: How to watch the final presidential debate online (and for free)

how to follow election results online 2016 presidential trump clinton debate watch
With the presidential race now in the homestretch, there’s just one more debate between presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. It will be the final time the two candidates appear together before Americans go to the polls on November 8, so you’ll want to watch.

The debate is scheduled for 6 p.m. PT on Wednesday, and will be held at the University of Nevada’s Las Vegas campus. The candidates will return to a traditional debate format like the first debate, with Chris Wallace of Fox News serving as moderator. According to Fox News, the proposed topics for the debate include everything from debt and entitlements to immigration reform and the Supreme Court. Presidential fitness is also said to be on this week’s docket.

So how can you catch this debate online? We have a number of great streams to watch live, and a few places where you can join the conversation around the debates. Happy viewing!

Editors’ note: For the state of the race in as much detail as possible, we recommend the site, which breaks down polls on a state-by-state basis.

YouTube live streams

The Third Presidential Debate - LIVE Wednesday, October 19, 2016 9 PM EST

It should go without saying, but the first place you should go is YouTube. The popular video-sharing site says, PBS News, The Washington Post, Fox News, Univision, and Telemundo all plan to stream it live through their respective platform. With so many options, it might come down to which talking heads do you prefer to hear during the pre- and post-debate analysis.

Watch it online (using a cable subscriber login)

Several of these channels plan to offer live-streaming of the debate on their websites: C-SPAN, CNN Go, Fox News, and MSNBC will all provide live-streams provided you log in through your cable or satellite provider first.

Many of the options we’ve discussed still require you to have a cable or satellite subscription of some kind, though, even if you’re not watching through your TV. But if you like watching a particular network, and are at least a subscriber to a service such as Sling, PlayStation Vue’s live TV option, or the like, you’re good. Some of the news networks may not be available, but you’ll be able to pick up coverage from one of the broadcast network’s live channels.

Facebook live stream from ABC

Don’t have a cable or satellite subscription, but have a Facebook account? ABC News will air the debate in its entirety on Facebook Live.

Traditional TV

Unlike the primary debates, all general election debates are simulcast on several different channels, both over-the-air and on cable. So it really comes down to your own choice of where you want to watch it. The following networks and cable channels plan to carry the debate in its entirety:

Fox Fox News Channel
Univision MSNBC

You may be able to find it elsewhere, however.

Spanish language

If you’re looking for Spanish language options, there are possibilities. Univision will carry a simulcast on its channels, while Telemundo will too — and over YouTube as well.

If you’re outside of the country…

If you are outside of the country, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to catch the debate in its entirety via television, so we’d recommend using the cord cutter options there, following any local regulations or your streaming provider’s terms of service.

For those in the military, the Armed Forces Network plans to broadcast the debate live at 0100 UTC on the AFN News Channel, so on a military base, you’ll be able to catch it there.

How to chat about the debate live

Facebook and ABC News

Facebook is a great spot to interact while the debate is going on. The social networking site partnered with ABC News, who will use its Live functionality to simulcast the debate to users. It’s a bit of an experiment, ABC says, so it will be commercial-free. The debate coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET with Straight Talk hosted by ABC News contributors Matthew Dowd and LZ Granderson.

Nightline co-anchor Dan Harris, along with Granderson and digital host Amna Nawaz, will anchor coverage during and after the debates. Also, be sure to check out ABC News’ Facebook page, which plans to have live streams of activities in the host cities, a Spin Room camera, and even streams from watch parties.

Twitter and Bloomberg

Twitter isn’t leaving Facebook dominate social media coverage of the debates, so Twitter is partnering with Bloomberg to cover the debates for its users. Twitter will promote Bloomberg’s livestream, as it has for other recent events in its push for more comprehensive live streaming.

Bloomberg’s coverage will be hosted by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, and like Facebook’s option, it will include live pre- and post-debate coverage along with the debate in its entirety. If you’ve watched any of the NFL football streams on the service, this will basically operate the same way. There were some complaints of a considerable delay in the stream, so we’ll have to see if Twitter has improved on that.

Snapchat Live Stories

Snapchat has played a big role in giving users a unique, Snap-centric look into the debates. While the debate is going on, a Live Story will be available wherein snaps from the event will be curated into a single story. What’s not clear is if Snapchat will roll out any special filters for users to place on their snaps during the third presidential debate. No announcements have been made on that end, though Trump did purchase his own national geofilter advertisement on the day of the first presidential debate and may do so again.

Google is involved, silently

Google won’t have a direct role in coverage of the debates, but the company is providing debate moderators with search data to judge what voters are searching about when it comes to the election. This should make the questions a little more relevant to viewers, thus making the conversation more relevant.

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