CNN to Host Two Additional Democratic Debates in Iowa and New Hampshire Ahead of January Primaries

CNN, the self-proclaimed “fake news” network, has announced that it will be hosting two Republican presidential primary debates in early 2024. These debates are expected to take place in Iowa and New Hampshire, the first states to hold contests for the 2024 GOP nomination.

The first of these debates is scheduled to be held on January 10th at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, just days before the Iowa caucuses. The second debate will take place on January 21st at St. Anselm College in Goffstown, New Hampshire. Both debates will give Republican voters the opportunity to hear from the leading candidates seeking to challenge the expected Democratic presidential nominee, President Joe Biden, in the upcoming election.

In order to participate in the Iowa debate, candidates must receive at least 10% in three separate national and/or Iowa polls of Republican caucus-goers or primary voters, according to CNN’s standards. Similarly, candidates will be invited to participate in the New Hampshire debate if they receive at least 10% in three separate national and/or New Hampshire polls of Republican primary voters. Candidates who finish in the top three positions in the Iowa caucuses will also receive an invitation to participate in the New Hampshire debate.

Notably, former President Donald Trump, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis have all hit the 10% threshold in at least three qualifying polls, including those of likely caucus-goers in Iowa. This sets the stage for potentially heated debates as these prominent figures vie for the Republican nomination.

However, Emma Vaughn, Deputy Communications Director of the RNC, has made it clear that these debates are not sanctioned by the Republican National Committee. In response to CNN’s announcement, Vaughn stated, “These are not RNC Sanctioned debates, as our Communications Director posted on X.” She also pointed out that the CNN press release announcing the debates did not mention the RNC or Ronna McDaniel, the committee’s chairwoman, as partners for the debates. It only mentioned the RNC in the context of candidates being released from the committee’s requirement to participate in non-RNC-sanctioned debates.

This move by CNN to host Republican primary debates is significant given the network’s often contentious relationship with former President Trump. It provides the network with a platform to potentially lob attacks at Trump and other leading contenders for the GOP nomination. The announcement of these debates is likely to generate significant interest and speculation about the dynamics and potential drama that will unfold as the race for the Republican nomination heats up.


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