The Republican National Committee has announced a new, sanctioned debate schedule that will have at least nine debates and twelve debates at most. There will be one debate each month until February 2016. The debates will begin later this year, in August. Both Fox News and CNN will get at least two debates. CNN partnered with the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library for their September debate.
In March, there will be more debates if needed. The two additional debates have been granted to CNN and Fox News, meaning the two cable news channels could have three debates at most. There is also another debate with a conservative media outlet, but the outlet, date, and location have not been determined yet.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, who was elected to a third term today as Chair, has said in the past that he planned on limited the amount of debates. In 2012, the numerous debates led to candidates having gaffes and increased party in-fighting. The debates also became significant because they had a significant impact on who was leading the pack and became the “Anti-Mitt” for a period of time. Strong debate performances led to Newt Gingrich taking the lead for a period of time and eventually taking the lead again. “The 2016 cycle is underway, and I can tell you it will be a landmark election for Republicans,” Chairman Priebus said. “By constructing and instituting a sound debate process, it will allow candidates to bring their ideas and vision to Americans in a timely and efficient way. This schedule ensures we will have a robust discussion among our candidates while also allowing the candidates to focus their time engaging with Republican voters. It is exciting that Republicans will have such a large bench of candidates to choose from, and the sanctioned debate process ensures voters will have a chance to gain a chance to hear from them.”
Some news outlets were effectively snubbed of the ability to host a debate. MSNBC hosted two debates in 2012, but has not been granted any this cycle. Univision has also not been allowed any debates, but their competitor Telemundo has. NBC News will also be sharing their debate with corporate sibling Telemundo. Bloomberg also has not been granted any debate, despite a recent attempt by the news organization to expand into political coverage as well. Both of Bloomberg’s competitors, Fox Business Network and CNBC, have been granted a debate.
The Announced Debates:
- Fox News
- Fox Business
- Fox News
- ABC News
- CBS News
Down here, we will keep this updated with statements from the networks as we receive them.