Will Candidates Break With Party Leadership To Debate Before Vital New Hampshire Primary?
NBC News is reportedly teaming up with the New Hampshire Union Leader to hold an unsanctioned Democratic presidential debate in violation of the DNC's rules. The debate, as Buzzfeed's Evan McMorris-Santoro first reported, citing "two sources familiar with the discussions," would be February 4. It would be moderated by MSNBC's Rachel Maddow and NBC News' Chuck Todd, and air on MSNBC. Which, if any, of the Democratic candidates will be willing to "jump ship," and what the repercussions would be from the Democratic National Committee, are unknown.
Ever since the DNC first announced the 2016 campaign season debate schedule, which consists of only six debates, in comparison to the GOP's 12 debates, a great many voters and even at east one of the candidates have complained. The DNC has also been accused of scheduling the debates at times least convenient for most viewers, including the Saturday night before Christmas, and on a long holiday weekend opposite the NFL playoffs.
The timing is critical, coming three days after the nation's first primary, the Iowa caucuses, and just four days before the New Hampshire primary February 9.
Buzzfeed notes "growing frustration among campaign officials, voters and the press about the Democratic calendar, which put many of the debates outside traditional primetime. On Jan. 16, the New York Times cited anonymous Hilary Clinton aides lamenting not asking for more debates. Her supporters feel she has done well against Sanders head-to-head. Sanders and O’Malley aides have said they want more debates for months."