Volume 12, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2213-1272
  • E-ISSN: 2213-1280



Debates are important events during presidential elections in the U.S.A. Candidates are juxtaposed and engage with each other on a wide range of issues. This poses the question how disagreement between the two candidates and the public is managed. The aim of this paper is to articulate the prototypical argumentative pattern used by candidates which shows that to defend that the public should vote for them, candidates recurringly make three central claims. Specifically, they claim that some political action has to happen, they will do that action if elected, while their opponent will not. This basic argument scheme – which could be referred to as campaign promise argumentation – is further expanded by candidates by responding to six distinct critical questions, resulting in a prototypical argumentative pattern designed to deal with potential criticisms against a bid to become president.

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