Bloomberg by the Numbers: 27

Photograph by Paul Schutzer//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images

John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon prior their first televised debate.

That’s how many nationally televised general-election presidential debates have been held since they began in 1960.

The first debate between President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney tonight at 9 pm EDT in Denver will be the 28th such encounter.

Obama and Romney will meet twice more, on Oct. 16 and Oct. 22, marking the fourth consecutive election in which the presidential nominees debate three times. There were four debates in 1960, when John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon sought the White House, and two debates each in 1980, 1984, 1988 and 1996. There were no debates in 1964, 1968 and 1972.

The vice-presidential nominees have participated in one debate in every election dating to 1976, with the exception of 1980, when no debate was held.


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