David Muir and Martha Raddatz Will Moderate ABC’s Primary Debates

By Chris Ariens 

World News Tonight anchor David Muir and ABC’s chief global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz will moderate two primary debates in the coming weeks, both from New Hampshire, site of the first-in-the-nation primary.

The Democratic candidates will debate on Saturday, Dec. 19, while the Republican candidates will face-off on Saturday, Feb. 6, just 3 days before the primary. Both debates will be held at Saint Anselm College in Manchester.

In its release about their coverage, ABC was quick to point out that George Stephanopoulos will be lead anchor for ABC’s coverage “from now until Election Day.” In May, the longtime ABC Newser said he wouldn’t moderate any of the primary debates following objections over his $75,000 in donations, over three years, to the Clinton Foundation.


In the 2008 cycle, the last time there was an open primary in both parties, ABC’s debates were the most watched. The highest rated debate that time around–10 million for a Democratic face-off in April, 2008–has been eclipsed by all but one debate this cycle.

RaddatzDebateRaddatz is no stranger to the debate stage. She was selected by the Commission on Presidential debates to moderate the one and only Vice Presidential debate in 2012.

ABC News will also partner with FiveThirtyEight, now owned by ESPN, by integrating founder Nate Silver and his team of number crunchers into programming.

Here’s ABC release:

ABC News announces “Your Voice, Your Vote” coverage of the 2016 election led by Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos from now until Election Day, anchoring the network’s broadcasts from the debates, conventions and on Election Night. ABC News’ comprehensive reporting and analysis on the candidates, debates, caucuses, primaries, conventions and general election will air on ABC News programs including “Good Morning America,” “World News Tonight with David Muir,” “Nightline,” “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” and across ABCNews.com, ABC News Radio, ABC NewsOne and ABC News’ mobile and social platforms.

“Your Voice, Your Vote” special reports in primetime, “World News Tonight with David Muir” and “Good Morning America” will broadcast live from the Republican National Convention in Cleveland and the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. On Election Day ABC News will broadcast special programming from ABC News Election Headquarters in New York, with ABC News anchors and contributors reporting from swing states across the country and covering state by state results throughout the evening.

ABC News will partner with ABC affiliate WMUR-TV (owned by Hearst Television), New Hampshire Union Leader and Saint Anselm College for the only presidential candidate debates in New Hampshire. The DNC sanctioned debate on Saturday, December 19th at 8 p.m., ET and the RNC sanctioned debate on Saturday, February 6 at 8 p.m., ET will both take place at Saint Anselm College in Manchester. Stephanopoulos will anchor coverage of the debates joined by ABC’s powerhouse Political team of reporters and analysts. “World News Tonight” Anchor David Muir, Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz and WMUR-TV Anchor Josh McElveen will moderate. The Independent Journal/IJ.com will partner with ABC News for the GOP debate. Stephanopoulos will anchor “This Week” from New Hampshire the morning after each debate.

The ABC News Political team including Anchor Diane Sawyer, Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl, Senior Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas, “World News Tonight” Saturday Anchor and Senior National Correspondent Cecilia Vega, “World News Tonight” Sunday Anchor Tom Llamas, Chief Business and Economic Correspondent Rebecca Jarvis, Correspondent David Wright, Congressional Correspondent Mary Bruce, Contributing Correspondent Devin Dwyer and Political Director Rick Klein, as well as Fusion’s Jorge Ramos, Alicia Menendez and Mariana Atencio will report on the latest news and developments on the candidates, race and the election. Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross returns with the award-winning franchise “Money Trail.” ABC News Political Analyst Cokie Roberts, Special Correspondent and Senior Strategic Advisor Matthew Dowd and Contributors Donna Brazile, Bill Kristol and LZ Granderson will provide analysis.

ABC News will partner with FiveThirtyEight by integrating Founder and Editor-in-Chief Nate Silver and his team’s analysis into programming and featuring them on television and in ABC’s influential daily political rundown newsletter – The Note.

ABC News continues to be the preeminent destination for 2016 election reporting, breaking news and analysis. ABC landed the first network interviews with presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle including Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina, Marco Rubio, John Kasich, Mike Huckabee, Martin O’Malley, Rick Santorum and Scott Walker. In addition, Hillary Clinton apologized to the American people for using email on a private server calling it a mistake in an interview on ABC.

ABC News Digital will offer a comprehensive blend of content leading up to the 2016 election, including original video series, up to five simultaneous livestreams, immersive Virtual Reality reporting, short documentaries and infographics that will break down the highlights from every major event and take viewers straight to the campaign trail so that they never miss a moment. In addition, ABCNews.com will launch a new election portal with explainers designed to help voters make sense of key issues.

ABC News’ digital platforms will offer access to a wide-range of live content from the candidates’ events, including GoStreams from ABC News’ digital journalists covering the campaigns in the field. ABC News’ journalists will provide live recaps and commentary in conjunction with the network coverage of each debate. ABC News’ mobile apps will feature personalized alerts, allowing users to receive updates on specific topics or candidates of interest. All of ABC News’ 2016 election content will be available across ABC News’ digital platforms, including ABCNews.com, ABC News’ mobile and tablet apps, and on Apple TV, Apple Watch, Android Wear, Roku and Xbox One.

ABC News Digital has delivered extensive coverage of the 2016 Presidential race thus far, capturing news-making moments from the Iowa State Fair and the first four Republican and two Democratic debates that have dominated the conversation online and across social.

ABC News Radio will have extensive coverage of the 2016 campaign for more than 1,500 affiliates with reports from the campaign trail of all major candidates that will be highlighted regularly on Newscasts, Newscall and Status Reports. ABC News Radio will provide live anchored coverage of the ABC moderated debates and during each night of the Republican and Democratic conventions. In addition, ABC News Radio will provide a daily feature titled “Road to the White House.”

ABC NewsOne, the affiliate news service of ABC News, will provide coverage of the 2016 election for over 200 ABC affiliates and international partners. ABC News correspondents will report on all aspects of the candidates and election. NewsOne will also provide live feeds of events, expert analysis from the ABC News Political team and digital content for affiliates throughout the campaign.

The following will file reports for ABC News Radio and ABC NewsOne: Radio Correspondents Aaron Katersky, Alex Stone, Jim Ryan, Ryan Burrow, Mark Remillard and Scott Goldberg; NewsOne Correspondents Brandi Hitt and Marci Gonzalez; Multi-Platform Reporters Karen Travers, Kenneth Moton, Stephanie Ramos, Bazi Kanani, and Lana Zak; and Political Analysts Cokie Roberts, Steve Roberts and Trey Hardin; and Reporter and Digital Journalist Brad Mielke.