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gop logoThe Republican National Committee announced Friday it has sanctioned as many as 12 debates for the 2016 presidential campaign, starting with a face-off in Ohio.

In an effort to streamline the nomination process, the RNC is limiting debates while also spreading them around the country and on different TV networks.

The goal is to end what RNC Chairman Reince Priebus has derided as the “slice and dice festival” of 2012, when GOP candidates participated in 20 debates that left nominee Mitt Romney weakened and took attention away from Republican efforts to defeat President Obama.

“By constructing and instituting a sound debate process, it will allow candidates to bring their ideas and vision to Americans in a timely and efficient way,” Priebus said. “This schedule ensures we will have a robust discussion among our candidates while also allowing the candidates to focus their time engaging with Republican voters.”

The debate schedule calls for nine debates between now and March 1, 2016,  beginning with the Ohio debate to be broadcast by Fox News. There will be one debate each month from August to next January, then there will be three debates in February. Two debates are pending in March, and there is one still be determined featuring conservative media.

Fox News: August 2015, Ohio

CNN: September 2015, California

CNBC: October 2015, Colorado

Fox Business: November 2015, Wisconsin

CNN: December 2015, Nevada

Fox News: January 2016, Iowa

ABC News: February 2016, New Hampshire

CBS News: February 2016, South Carolina

NBC/Telemundo: February 2016, Florida

PENDING

Fox News: March 2016, Location TBD

CNN: March 2016, Location TBD

Conservative Media Debate: Date and location TBD

 

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