ABC News is expected to partner with New Hampshire’s WMUR-TV to host another Democratic debate in the days leading up to the 2020 New Hampshire primary, which is scheduled for February 11, according to a person with knowledge of the discussions.
The contest would be in addition to the six debates already announced by the Democratic National Committee, the most recent of which is co-hosted by POLITICO and PBS NewsHour on Dec. 19 in Los Angeles.
The Democratic presidential contenders are also expected to debate in Iowa in early 2020, with the state’s caucus scheduled for Feb. 3, just eight days before the first primary.
The New Hampshire debate plans have not been finalized and it’s possible a print or digital partner could be added to the event, as has recently been the case, the person with knowledge of the discussions said. The New York Times joined CNN in co-hosting a Democratic debate in October, while The Washington Post is partnering with MSNBC for a Nov. 20 debate in Atlanta.
Representatives from the DNC and ABC News declined to comment. A WMUR representative did not respond to a request.
ABC News has already participated in one 2020 Democratic debate, a Houston event with Univision in September that drew favorable reviews.
During the 2016 cycle, ABC News planned to partner with WMUR for a Democratic debate, though the Manchester-based ABC affiliate was dropped over a labor dispute at the station. The two outlets later teamed up for a Republican debate shortly before the 2016 primary vote.
No plans have been announced for an Iowa debate. In Nov. 2015, CBS, local affiliate KCCI and The Des Moines Register joined forces for a Democratic debate in Iowa.
The Register, the state’s largest newspaper, has expressed interest in participating in an Iowa debate this cycle, according to a person familiar with the situation.
CBS News, as the only major broadcast and cable network which hasn’t been picked to host a debate — other than Fox News, which was barred by the DNC after complaints from candidates over its conservative opinion hosts’ closeness to President Donald Trump — would seem poised to nab one in 2020.
CBS is in discussions with the DNC about hosting a debate in an early-voting state, according to an official with knowledge of the deliberations.
Two other early-voting states, Nevada and South Carolina, are likely to be sites of Democratic debates in the new year.