Democrats announce early primary state debate schedule

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats will hold four primary debates in each of the early primary states as voting gets underway next year, with some of the debates scheduled for just days before voters head to the polls, the Democratic National Committee announced in an email to campaigns Thursday.

The first primary debate of the new year will be Jan. 14 in Des Moines, Iowa, about three weeks before Democrats make their first primary preferences known in the state’s caucuses.

The next debate is scheduled for Feb. 7 in Manchester, New Hampshire, just four days before voters head to the polls in that state’s primary.

Democrats will debate in Las Vegas on Feb. 19, three days before the caucuses there, and they’ll meet for a debate in Charleston, South Carolina, on Feb. 25, four days before that state’s Democratic primary.

The upcoming debates include a few new partnerships beyond the traditional media outlets. The Congressional Black Caucus will co-host the Charleston debate, and Twitter will also be a partner there. Apple News will be a co-host for the New Hampshire debate.

The DNC will announce qualification criteria for the debates later.

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