CNN and the Democratic National Committee announced Thursday the network will host the first Democratic primary debate in Nevada on October 13. The exact location will be announced in the coming weeks.
CNN’s is the first of six planned that the Democratic Party announced Thursday. DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said the schedule will give Democratic voters plenty of time to vet the candidates, though some Democratic candidates are already complaining there should be more debates.
“With six debates scheduled – at a pace of roughly one per month – voters will have ample opportunities to hear our candidates discuss their visions for our country’s future,” Wasserman Schultz wrote Thursday in a post on Medium.
The other five debates will be hosted by:
- CBS, KCCI and The Des Moines Register in Iowa on November 14
- ABC and WMUR in Manchester, New Hampshire on December 19
- NBC and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute in Charleston, South Carolina on January 17
- And two more will be hosted in either February or March: One by Univision and The Washington Post in Miami, Florida, and another by PBS in Wisconsin.
The field of major Democratic candidates is significantly smaller than the 17-member Republican one, at five candidates, and it’s been dominated by frontrunner Hillary Clinton. But that hasn’t stopped candidates like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders from running neck-and-neck with Clinton in New Hampshire or former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley from arguing voters are being shut out.
Bill Hyers, senior O’Malley strategist, urged supporters Thursday to tweet their anger at the party limiting debates in an email sent shortly after the schedule was announced
“It’s ridiculous,” Hyers wrote, noting that Democrats held 15 primary debates in 2004 and 25 debates in 2008. “The campaign for presidency should be about giving voters an opportunity to hear from every candidate and decide on the issues, not stacking the deck in favor of a chosen candidate.”
The announcement also adds to the trio of Republican debates CNN is hosting, the first of which is September 16 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.