How will President Trump and Joe Biden greet, who will hone in on China, and will they discuss Bernie Sanders?

DraftKings is offering players the chance to win $5,000 picking occurrences from the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. (Image: USA Today)

These are among the questions proposed by DraftKings in the DFS operator’s free-play contest for tonight’s presidential debate. The contest features a $50,000 prize pool, with $5,000 going to first place.

Sure, the odds of winning will be long, with more than 120,000 entrants as of early Tuesday afternoon, but the contest should provide a rooting interest in what’s said and done – no matter your political stripes.

Let’s look at the questions:

When the candidates walk onto the stage, how will they first greet each other?

We can choose between a handshake, fist bump, elbow bump, and no touching at all. Elbow bump appears to be the smart call here, as we have history to go on. When Joe Biden encountered Vice President Mike Pence at the September 11 memorial earlier this month, he greeted Pence and his party with elbow bumps. The handshake option should be drawing dead in this instance, given the state of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S.

Savvy bettors, however, may want to opt for the no greeting option, based on the latest rules agreed to by the two campaigns.

Who will be the first to speak?

Donald Trump may be the type of guy who dominates the conversation, but this one should be decided simply by chance. A coin toss will determine who answers the first question.

Who will say the word ‘China’ first?

It would be surprising for China not to be mentioned during the debate, as the nation proves relevant on many fronts, from COVID-19 to tariffs, and from TikTok to 5G development. In fact, COVID-19 is specifically listed as one of the topics for debate. Trump should be the slam-dunk choice here, given his battles with the country and his propensity to talk about it. Just last week, Trump spoke about holding China accountable for the spread of COVID-19 in his speech at the United Nations General Assembly.

Which of these listed former candidates will be mentioned first by either Trump or Biden?

Here we can choose from Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Michael Bloomberg, Amy Klobuchar, or none of the above. With such a long list to choose from, I don’t think none is a good selection. I also believe Buttigieg and Klobuchar aren’t relevant enough to the current conversation to be mentioned. Sanders seems most likely, given that Trump has accused the Democrat nomination process of being “rigged,” and Sanders held a big lead over Biden prior to Super Tuesday.

Who will be mentioned first by name by either candidate, Mike Pence, Kamala Harris, or neither?

Both the vice president and the vice-presidential candidate should be mentioned during the debate, so you can almost flip a coin on which will be discussed first. But since we know that COVID-19 is a debate topic, and Pence heads up the White House Coronavirus Task Force, let’s go with Pence.

Who will be mentioned first by either candidate, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, or neither? 

Biden’s pride in his work serving as Obama’s vice president is evident in his campaign ads. He will certainly bring that up Tuesday night.

Who will mention Dr. Anthony Fauci first, Donald Trump, Joe Biden, or neither?

While Trump and Fauci share a tumultuous relationship, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Trump – in true Trump fashion – virtually pat Fauci on the back (despite previously saying he “made a lot of mistakes”) in his work combating COVID-19 while trying to take credit in the process.

How many of his children will Donald Trump mention by name during the debate?

The choices range from zero to five. A high number seems unlikely, given that most are irrelevant to the conversation. (What has 14-year-old Barron Trump done of note?) The smart money would be on zero or one, with the one likely being Ivanka Trump.

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