MSNBC and the New Hampshire Union Leader have agreed to host a Democratic presidential debate, scheduled for five days before the state’s first-in-the-nation primary.
“Our readers have demanded a debate to help them see who is most fit to be the Democratic nominee for President,” said Joseph W. McQuaid, president and publisher of the Union Leader in a story posted to the paper’s website. “We were always concerned that this would have been the first time in 32 years without a Democratic debate before the New Hampshire primary. We are glad to partner with MSNBC to ensure Granite Staters have the information they need to make a critical decision on Feb. 9.”
The debate would seem to sidestep the Democratic National Committee, which has no debates scheduled until after the primary, on Feb. 11. It remains unclear whether any of the candidates have agreed to participate in the debate.
The MSNBC debate will be moderated by Chuck Todd and Rachel Maddow and include questions from local reporters.
UPDATE: 6:41 p.m. ET The Democratic National Committee would seem to be dismissing the MSNBC-Union Leader debate, with DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz tweeting the party’s next sanctioned debate will not happen until February 11, on PBS:
— D Wasserman Schultz (@DWStweets) January 26, 2016