Oct 9, 2015 1:28 PM
CONCORD – A New Hampshire group is urging NH1 News to change its February Democratic presidential forum into a debate.
“For the sake of New Hampshire voters and our historic Primary, we respectfully request that NH1 News officially change their Democratic Forum to a Democratic Debate,” the group New Hampshire Debates, said to NH1 News in a letter dated Oct. 9. The group describes itself as a recently formed coalition of almost 100 Democrats and Independents.
NH1 News management said it is considering the request from the group.
Such a move would violate the Democratic National Committee’s current rules on debates. The DNC’s holding six sanctioned debates. This is consistent with the 2004 and 2008 cycles, but during the 2008 primary cycle, there were a total of 26 debates, including unsanctioned events.
This cycle, the DNC has implemented an exclusivity requirement, meaning any candidate who takes part in an unsanctioned debate will not be allowed to participate in future DNC debates.
New Hampshire Debates does not agree with this policy.
“We believe that the New Hampshire Primary is best served by a democratic process where presidential candidates may freely participate in more than one Granite State debate without fear of punishment by the Democratic National Committee for doing so,” the group said in the letter.
NH1 News announced back in September that it would hold a forum at the NH1 Media Center in Concord on Wednesday, Feb. 3, three days after the Iowa caucuses and just six days before the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire Primary.
The hour-long event will be broadcast live on WBIN-TV at 8pm EST. It will be simulcast on 99.1FM NH1 News Radio and streamed on NH1.com.
The forum will cover the range of issues important to Granite State voters.
Currently the only Democratic presidential debate being held in the first-in-the-nation primary state is scheduled for mid-December, buried during the holiday season and a month and a half before the February 9 primary.
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