Two television networks announced they would hold separate Republican presidential debates at the same location in New Hampshire just ahead of that state’s GOP primary next month, but officials at Saint Anselm College said they were only aware of one of the events. CNN said earlier in the day that it would host a Jan. 10 debate at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, five days before the state’s first-in-the-nation caucuses, and a Jan. 21 debate at Saint Anselm College in Goffstown, New Hampshire, two days before that state’s leadoff primary. Later, ABC News and WMUR-TV announced that they would partner for a Jan. 18 debate at Saint Anselm College.
- Two Networks Announce GOP Debates: CNN and ABC News/WMUR-TV plan to host Republican presidential debates in New Hampshire ahead of the state’s GOP primary.
- Saint Anselm College’s Confusion: Saint Anselm College, the proposed venue, acknowledged only the ABC/WMUR-TV debate, with no knowledge of CNN’s event.
- CNN’s Debate Schedule: CNN scheduled a debate at Drake University in Iowa on Jan. 10 and at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire on Jan. 21.
- ABC/WMUR-TV’s Debate Date: ABC News and WMUR-TV announced their debate at Saint Anselm College for Jan. 18.
- CNN’s Statement on New Hampshire Debate: Despite the confusion, CNN confirmed its plans to host a debate in New Hampshire on January 21.
- Recent GOP Debate Participants: The fourth debate of the 2024 primary season recently featured Gov. Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Chris Christie. Donald Trump has not participated and does not plan to.
- RNC’s Stance on Debates: The Republican National Committee has not sanctioned CNN’s debates, with candidates potentially released from restrictions on participating in non-approved debates.
- CNN’s Debate Qualification Criteria: To qualify for CNN’s Iowa debate, candidates need 10% support in three polls. Top performers in Iowa are invited to the New Hampshire debate.
- ABC/WMUR-TV’s Criteria Pending: Qualifications for the ABC/WMUR-TV debate will be announced later.
- Debate Qualifying Windows: The qualifying period for CNN’s Iowa debate ends on Jan. 2 and for the New Hampshire debate on Jan. 16.
The Associated Press has the story:
CNN, ABC announce GOP Presidential debates just days apart at same NH school
Newslooks- WASHINGTON (AP)
Two television networks announced they would hold separate Republican presidential debates at the same location in New Hampshire just ahead of that state’s GOP primary next month, but officials at Saint Anselm College said they were only aware of one of the events.
CNN said earlier in the day that it would host a Jan. 10 debate at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, five days before the state’s first-in-the-nation caucuses, and a Jan. 21 debate at Saint Anselm College in Goffstown, New Hampshire, two days before that state’s leadoff primary.
Neil Levesque, executive director of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm, told The Associated Press he was not aware of any planning for an event with CNN.
“I have no idea about anything with any other network,” Levesque said Thursday night, referring to the CNN event.
Levesque was quoted in a news release about the ABC and WMUR-TV debate, noting that both Democratic and Republican candidates had participated in debates at the college in every presidential cycle since 2008.
No Saint Anselm official was quoted in CNN’s release about its Iowa and New Hampshire debates, although Drake University — the site of CNN’s Iowa debate — did issue its own news release about that event.
A CNN spokesperson on Friday declined to “speak to any miscommunication within Saint Anselm” but said in a statement that the network was “moving forward with our plans to host a debate in New Hampshire on January 21.”
The debate announcements came a day after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie met for the fourth debate of the 2024 primary season. Former President Donald Trump, the GOP front-runner for the 2024 nomination, has yet to take part in any debate and has said he doesn’t plan to.
Keith Schipper, the Republican National Committee’s communications director, posted on X that the CNN events “are not RNC-sanctioned debates.” Chris Ager, chair of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee, said in a news release that the ABC debate would take place “subject to RNC guidelines.”
According to a person familiar with the plans, the RNC’s Debates Committee is discussing releasing candidates from prohibitions on participating in debates not approved by the party, but that decision has not yet been made. The person was not authorized to discuss the plans publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.
The qualifications for candidates to participate in the debates are getting stricter. To qualify for CNN’s Iowa debate, candidates must register at least 10% support in three separate polls, either nationally or in Iowa, according to CNN.
CNN said candidates who finish in one of the top three spots in the Iowa caucuses would be invited to participate in its New Hampshire debate, as well as those who meet CNN’s polling qualification, which include a 10% polling threshold in New Hampshire.
One of the three polls must be an approved CNN poll from the respective state. Unlike previous debates approved by the RNC, participants are not required to meet fundraising marks from a specific number of donors.
ABC and WMUR-TV did not specify qualifications for their New Hampshire debate, saying the information would be released at a later date.