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The Idaho Debates

The Idaho Debates - 2020

This year, the Idaho Debates is temporarily shifting formats.

Candidates in congressional primary races have been given the opportunity to participate in a remote Q&A via video teleconferencing with moderator Melissa Davlin. Instead of a debate with their opponents, each candidate will be asked the same questions on issues relevant to their congressional race. In races where two candidates are participating, those answers will be spliced together to give voters a clear picture of where the politicians stand. Each program will be a half-hour in length, and will be broadcast on Idaho Public Television and available online at

Though these are unusual times, the Idaho Debates team is committed to bringing Idaho voters information about candidates in their own words. Watch for updated schedules at

Debates and Specials

2020 Idaho Debates Q&As

  • Friday, Oct. 9, at 8 p.m. – Rep. Russ Fulcher, Rudy Soto and Joe Evans are scheduled to appear in the Idaho Congressional District 1 debate, which will be moderated by Marcia Franklin.
  • Monday, Oct. 12, at 8 p.m. – Rep. Mike Simpson and Aaron Swisher are scheduled to appear in the Idaho Congressional District 2 debate, which will be moderated by Marcia Franklin.
  • Friday, Oct. 16, at 8 p.m. – Sen. Jim Risch, Paulette Jordan and Natalie Fleming are scheduled to appear in the United States Senate debate, which will be moderated by Melissa Davlin.

Recent Episodes

Please Note: Selected video from debate episodes will play in the main/top video area.

Additional Information

Catch the biggest and best primary and general election debates right here at Idaho Public Television.

Throughout October, The Idaho Debates feature candidates for Idaho's statewide and congressional offices, and Idaho Reports presents specials on two statewide ballot measures.

For more than three decades, Idaho Public Television has been Idaho's "station of record" for candidate debates. Ahead of the November general election, we continue that tradition with debates for statewide and federal offices.

Engage with The Idaho Debates!

Television: Watch the debates live on Idaho Public Television or on our YouTube page

Online: All the 2018 debates will be available On Demand after they air.

Past Debates from 2010 to current are available On Demand. For debates prior to 2010 please contact us.

Find more info on the Secretary of State's Elections Website.

Email us:

Additional Information

Based upon the 1998 U.S. Supreme Court decision "Arkansas vs Forbes," the partners have established "reasonable" and "viewpoint-neutral" criteria for participation in these statewide debates and will apply those criteria consistently to determine if a candidate is conducting an active campaign. The following letter went out to each candidate.

Past Debates: For debates prior to 2010 please contact us.


Friends of Idaho PTV
Idaho PTV Endowment


The Idaho Debates is a collaborative effort among the Idaho Press Club, Boise State University’s School of Public Service, University of Idaho’s McClure Center, Idaho State University’s Department of Political Science, League of Women Voters’ Voter Education Fund, and Idaho Public Television. Our goal is to give the public an unbiased platform to hear the views of congressional candidates on the ballot. We do not support or oppose political parties or candidates.

Idaho Press Club
University of Idaho McClure Center for Public Policy
Boise State University School of Public Service
Idaho League of Woman Voters
Idaho State University Department of Political Science
Idaho Votes