02:05 - Source: CNN
CNN, Fox lay out GOP debate criteria
Washington CNN —  

The final Republican presidential debate before the GOP’s winner-take-all primaries occur will take place March 10 in Florida, CNN announced on Wednesday.

Florida is one of several large states that will hold winner-take-all delegate contests on March 15, which is being viewed as one of the most important primary days in the battle for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

“If debates are needed in March we look forward to CNN hosting the debate in Florida,” said Sean Spicer, chief strategist and communications director of the Republican National Committee.

RELATED: RNC cuts primary debates down to 9

Given the size and competitiveness of the GOP primary field, at this time it does not appear as though the party will have chosen its presidential nominee by March 10.

The CNN debate would take place five days before Florida, Illinois, Missouri and Ohio hold their primaries. These winner-take-all states are critically important in the GOP primary; winning candidates will be awarded all of a state’s delegates on March 15. States that hold their primaries prior to March 15 will allocate their delegates proportionally based upon performance.

The RNC named CNN as the host of two Republican primary debates in 2015, as well as one in March 2016 if the party had not yet chosen its presidential nominee.

Further details about the debate will be announced at a later date.