The Republican National Committee announced its schedule of primary debates for the 2016 and it contained two big surprises. First was liberal news network MSNBC did not get a debate (they got one in 2012), and second there’s a conservative media debate yet to be scheduled.

MSNBC has a distinct anti GOP bias which is obviously the reason they did not receive one of the debates. 

Twelve debates are scheduled for the upcoming primary season, significantly down from the 27 GOP debates and forums in 2012. Fox News and CNN have three debates each. ABC, CBS, and NBC/Telemundo have one debate each and the remaining three will be hosted by CNBC, Fox Business and the unnamed conservative media.

The RNC previously appointed a standing committee for presidential primary debates to sanction debates on behalf of the RNC. The committee chose to limit the number of debates, spread the debates across the country by sanctioning no more than one debate per state, allocate the debates over the course of seven months, include a larger conservative media presence and allow campaigns to know and plan for the debate schedule early. All of the sanctioned debates listed are contingent on further negotiations with the media partners and any future violation of RNC could result in the debate being unsanctioned.

In the coming weeks and months the RNC and the broadcast partners will make additional announcements of conservative media partners and panelists.

The nine debates scheduled sanctioned debates as well as the three waiting to for a host city are listed below:

1. Fox News August 2015 Ohio
2. CNN September 2015 California
3. CNBC October 2015 Colorado
4. Fox Business November 2015 Wisconsin
5. CNN December 2015 Nevada
6. Fox News January 2016 Iowa
7. ABC News February 2016 New Hampshire
8. CBS News February 2016 South Carolina
9. NBC/Telemundo February 2016 Florida


Fox News March 2016 TBD
CNN March 2016 TBD
Conservative Media Debate Date TBD Locations TBD