Dems announce 6 debates, including a December date in Manchester

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Democratic candidates, from left,
Democrats expected to debate, clockwise from left, Lincoln Chafee, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley, Hillary Clinton and Jim Webb.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Democratic National Committee announced Thursday a series of six presidential debates have been scheduled starting this fall – including one in Manchester.

The news came as Republican candidates prepared for their first televised debate in Cleveland, Ohio Thursday night.

Fourteen candidates participated in a GOP forum Aug. 3 at Saint Anselm College.

So far candidates expected to participate are: former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee.

Vice President Joe Biden’s staff has not committed to attending, according to reports, although there has been speculation of late that Biden may officially enter the fray.

The debates
  • Oct. 13 in Nevada, co-hosted by CNN and the state’s Democratic Party.
  • Nov. 14 in Des Moines, Iowa, hosted by CBS, KCCI, and the Des Moines Register.
  • Dec. 19 in Manchester, N.H., hosted by ABC and WMUR.
  • Jan. 17 in Charleston, S.C., hosted by NBC and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute.

The first Democratic debate will be held Oct. 13 in Nevada. Manchester will be in the spotlight on Dec. 19. A location has not yet been announced. Each Democratic State Party will serve as a debate co-host in their own state.

The final two Democratic debates will be held in February or March, one in Miami hosted by Univision and the Washington Post, and the other in Wisconsin hosted by PBS.

“We are thrilled to announce the schedule and locations for our Democratic primary debates,” said DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.  “These six debates will not only give caucus goers and primary voters ample opportunity to hear from our candidates about their vision for our country’s future, they will highlight the clear contrast between the values of the Democratic Party which is focused on strengthening the middle class versus Republicans who want to pursue out of touch and out of date policies.”

For O’Malley and Sanders, both of whom lag behind Clinton in fundraising and organization, debates offer an opportunity to get national attention.

“It would be very foolish for the DNC and bad for our party, bad for our prospects, for us to be the party that limits debates, circle the wagons and try to prevent a discussion of the issues,” said O’Malley. “In the ideal world, we’d have more debates before the Iowa” caucuses.

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About Carol Robidoux 5815 Articles
Journalist and editor of, a hyperlocal news and information site for Manchester, NH.