The competitors for the White House are preparing for what could be the most-watched presidential debate in US history.

A record 100 million people are expected to watch the first TV debate between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, starting at 9pm local time (01:00 GMT) in New York.  

The stakes are high as the candidates head into the debate tied in most national polls. They both know their performance could help them win, or lose the November 8 election.

Trump's popularity has been rising in the lead-up to the debate. 

Quinnipiac University declared the race "too close to call" on Monday, with its latest national poll of likely voters suggesting 47 percent of support for Clinton and 46 percent for Trump.

Topics announced by the Presidential Debate Commission for Monday's showdown at Hofstra University are America’s Direction, Achieving Prosperity, and Securing America.

It is the first time the two candidates will stand side by side since becoming their parties' nominees.

Two more debates are to follow on October 9 and October 19.

Source: Al Jazeera News