Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

Faced with constant interruptions and shouting from President Trump, moderator Chris Wallace failed to maintain control over the 2020 campaign's first general election presidential debate.

  • At one point, the back and forth between Trump and Wallace got so bad, that Wallace asked Trump, "You know, sir, if you wanna switch seats, we could do that."

Why it matters: The hectic nature of the first debate caused an instant debate over how the remaining debates could be conducted for the 2020 campaign.

Be smart: The longtime Fox News anchor is considered one of the best in the business, and he's respected by both political parties.

  • His failure to stop Trump from talking over both him and Joe Biden had political pundits debating Tuesday night whether future debates should allow moderators the ability to cut the candidates' mics.

CNN's Wolf Blitzer said it "will certainly raise a lot of questions about the future of the presidential debate between these two candidates."

  • "I wouldn't be surprised if this is the last presidential debate between the president and the former vice president."
  • "Clearly this debate was an embarrassment for the United States of America." 

CBS' Norah O'Donnell asked, "Can we really have two more of these debates, after what we saw tonight?"

The bottom line: Critics noted that Wallace failed to call out Trump for violating debate rules for more than an hour into the debate. Wallace tried, beginning early on in the debate, to stop the president's interruptions.

  • But his efforts ultimately proved moot, as Trump mostly dominated the debate with interjections.

Go deeper

SurveyMonkey poll: Trump improves, but not enough

Trump and Biden during the final debate. Photo: Xinhua/Liu Jie via Getty Images

President Trump's final debate performance exceeded Americans' expectations, but it wasn't enough to shift the dynamics that left him trailing Joe Biden across most measures, according to a new Axios-SurveyMonkey poll.

What they're saying: "Liar" was the word used most by debate watchers to describe Trump's performance, followed by "lies," "strong," "presidential" and "childish." "Presidential" was the word used most to describe Biden's performance, followed by "liar," "weak," "expected" and "honest."

Post-debate poll finds Biden strong on every major issue

Joe Biden speaks Friday about "The Biden Plan to Beat COVID-19," at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

This is one of the bigger signs of trouble for President Trump that we've seen in a poll: Of the final debate's seven topics, Joe Biden won or tied on all seven when viewers in a massive Axios-SurveyMonkey sample were asked who they trusted more to handle the issue.

Why it matters: In a time of unprecedented colliding crises for the nation, the polling considered Biden to be vastly more competent.

What Matters 2020

The missed opportunities for 2020 and beyond

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Jason Armond (Los Angeles Times), Noam Galai, Jabin Botsford (The Washington Post), Alex Wong/Getty Images

As the 2020 presidential campaign draws to a close, President Trump and Joe Biden have focused little on some of the most sweeping trends that will outlive the fights of the moment.

Why it matters: Both have engaged on some issues, like climate change and China, on their own terms, and Biden has addressed themes like economic inequality that work to his advantage. But others have gone largely unmentioned — a missed opportunity to address big shifts that are changing the country.