How to Host a Presidential Debate Watch Party

In the United States, a series of televised debates traditionally mean the campaign season for the quadrennial presidential election is officially underway. Sometimes serious and sometimes entertaining, these debates are the perfect opportunity to watch in tandem with a social gathering of like-minded friends and family members. Here is how to host a presidential debate party.


  1. 1
    Find out when the next presidential debate is scheduled to occur. Typically, debates are held on a weeknight in the evening or late afternoon, depending on your time zone and the actual location of the debate. Unless you plan on hosting more than one presidential debate party, you will need to decide which party's debate to view (Democratic or Republican, held on different dates).
  2. 2
    Send out themed invitations. For example, if viewing a Democratic debate, send out blue invitations with donkeys on the borders to match that party's color and symbol. Let your guests know exactly where and when the party will be held.
  3. 3
    Prepare for the debate party. The most important item you will need is a large TV or projection system to view the debate, as it is being broadcast on national television. Other items you will need include the following:
    • Open, comfortable sitting area or plenty of chairs in view of the TV
    • A good sound system
    • Party food and drinks
  4. 4
    Watch the debate. During commercial breaks, socialize with your guests and get their opinions on who they feel is winning the debate, what the best lines of the night have been thus far, etc.
  5. 5
    Keep your guests entertained with games related to the debate. One idea you can get creative with is presidential debate bingo. Make cards with certain topics on different squares, and as they are brought up in the debate, or the specific scenario happens, mark it off.


  • If you want everyone to be informed about who is participating in the debate, print out interesting news articles and pictures of the candidates and make up a decorated packet for each guest.
  • Have a backup plan of how you can watch the debate should your cable go out, or if you otherwise experience technical difficulties. You may be able to stream the debate online.


  • Remember to be fair and respect your guests' likely diverse opinions about the candidates.

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Categories: Political Campaigning and Participation