The next Republican presidential debate will be held Dec. 15 in Nevada. The debate will be hosted by CNN and Salem Media Group, and it will be aired on CNN.
This will be CNN’s third debate of the 2016 election cycle, as it has now hosted one Republican and one Democratic presidential debate. After two business-focused showdowns on smaller networks, Republicans might be glad to be back with the general-interest CNN by December.
While the candidates for the next debate won’t be announced for a little while, the lineup is likely to look different than the stage did Tuesday. After all, the White House hopefuls will have another month to campaign, change their standings in the polls and potentially drop out of the race before the fifth debate.
The details of the Fox Business lineup came as a surprise when the network changed its entry criteria, causing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee to drop to the undercard debate, and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and former New York Gov. George Pataki to be eliminated from the November debates altogether. If some of those candidates can gain traction before Dec. 15, they may secure a more favorable position in the next debate.
CNN and Salem Media Group have not yet announced a location or time for their debate, although those decisions will likely be made public in the coming weeks. The debate’s format, like the candidates, is likely to be a topic of much discussion between now and December. After the chaotic CNBC debate, many Republican candidates drafted a set of demands for future debates. The campaigns later abandoned their plan to negotiate with networks to implement those demands, but candidates have continued to criticize mainstream media for its handling of their debates so far.
As we approach the fifth Republican debate and learn more about its format and moderators, these pieces of information will tell us a lot about the direction the 2016 race is headed. In a month’s time, there could be a new front-runner taking center-stage, or voters could stay the course and see another debate of Donald Trump and Ben Carson flanked by six or eight other candidates fighting for attention.