Anderson Cooper was announced as the moderator of the first Democratic primary debate next month. REUTERS

With two highly-watched Republican debates in the books, the Democrats will get their shot at airtime with the party's first primary debate Oct. 13 in Las Vegas. The much-anticipated debate will be hosted by CNN, which announced Wednesday that the debate moderator would be Anderson Cooper, who hosts "Anderson Cooper 360" on the network.

CNN also hosted the second GOP debate in Simi Valley, California, Wednesday night, but the format of the Democratic party face-off next month will likely be different. Compared to the 16-candidate GOP race, the Democrats' have a much smaller field and will not require an earlier, lower-tier debate.

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Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Maryland Gov. Martin Malley, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee are all running on the Democratic ticket.

The focus of the debate questions have yet to be announced, but given the location in Nevada, immigration is likely to come up.

Cooper has moderated debates before and played a major role in the network's debate coverage. In the 2012 election season, Cooper moderated a debate in Las Vegas for Republican candidates.

The debate is the first of six Democratic stand-offs. The other debates are scheduled for Nov. 14 in Des Moines, Iowa; Dec. 19 in Manchester, New Hampshire; and Jan. 17 in Charleston, South Carolina. There are also two Democratic debates scheduled for February or March in Miami, Florida and Wisconsin.

PBS, Univision, NBC, ABC and CBS will all have chances to host a debate. To participate in the debates, candidates need to receive at least 1 percent in three national polls conducted by credible news organizations and polling organizations.