Thursday night, the two 2020 presidential candidates took part in separate televised town halls, as President Donald Trump appeared on NBC in a conversation moderated by Savannah Guthrie, while former Vice President Joe Biden appeared concurrently on ABC with moderator George Stephanopoulos. The town hall format emerged after the Commission on Presidential Debates canceled the second debate between the two candidates following President Trump declining to do a virtual debate despite health and safety concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic. Co-hosts of “The Scrum” podcast Adam Reilly and Peter Kadzis joined Joe Mathieu on “Morning Edition” Friday morning to discuss the night’s events:

Both Reilly and Kadzis said they toggled back and forth between the two town halls, observing the difference in the candidates’ styles. “I actually think there was something extra effective about being able to go back and forth in the moment and see how different they were,” Reilly said. According to Reilly, it wasn’t just the candidates’ contrasting stances on issues like the coronavirus pandemic, but the difference in their respective tones that was notable: “Biden had this kind of mellow, avuncular tone. Trump, while less combative than sometimes, was still sort of in a mood to fight.” Kadzis agreed that the dual town hall format brought the contrast to the fore. “Biden was so smooth, so articulate. He didn’t come across as Jack Kennedy, but he came across as Joe Biden,” he said.

A critical moment in the evening’s events came when Guthrie pushed Trump to address and disavow his relationship with the QAnon conspiracy theory. “Even though [the discussion about conspiracy theories] has become the norm, it deserves to be brought up again and again,” Reilly said, praising Guthrie for her composure throughout the exchange. “It’s not easy in that moment to call out the president of the United States for pushing a wacky conspiracy theory.” Kadzis said the discussion about QAnon and such a “wild, wild theory” could move the needle ever so slightly, given that voting is already underway, via mail-in ballots and early voting, in many states. “The reason Trump lost the ‘great head-to-head town meetings’ was because of QAnon,” he said.

For more analysis on last night’s town halls, watch the full conversation with Mathieu, Reilly, and Kadzis above.