The official 2016 Republican primary debate schedule has been released by the Republican National Committee (RNC). As you may know, the RNC has been working for months to come up with ways to limit the number of debates and prevent candidates from participating in unsanctioned debates.
Report from Reuters:
The Republican Party said on Friday it has approved nine primary debates in the months leading up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election, starting in Ohio in August.
The debates are contingent on negotiations with media partners, the Republican National Committee said in a statement from its winter meeting in San Diego, where Chairman Reince Priebus was elected to a third term.
“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,” said Priebus.
The sanctioned debate schedule reflects about half the debates held during the lengthy 2012 presidential primaries. Many Republicans thought that heavy debate schedule was a strain on candidates and forced them into rigid policy positions that hurt them in the general election.
The debates for 2016 will be: in Ohio in August (broadcast by Fox News), in California in September (CNN), in Colorado in October (CNBC), in Wisconsin in November (Fox Business), in Nevada in December (CNN), in Iowa in January 2016 (Fox News) and three in February 2016: in New Hampshire (ABC), in South Carolina (CBS), in Florida (NBC/Telemundo).
As in 2012, we’ve got the entire debate schedule cataloged and will provide all the important details on the 2016 Republican debate schedule page. We’re also closely monitoring the Democratic Party awaiting any news about 2016 Democratic primary debates.
Compared to 2012, when the first debate was held in May of 2011, the 2015/2016 timeline will cut four months off the debate schedule and will roughly cut the number of debates in half. At this point, it looks like the RNC is set to sanction around twelve debates with a possible thirteenth event consisting only of conservative media moderators, which I assume may be talk radio personalities.