September 23, 2015
Although the first one is still more than a year out, the Commission on Presidential Debates today announced four debates for the 2016 general election. There will be 3 presidential and one vice presidential debate.
3 of the 4 debates will take place in what are likely to be competitive states in 2016.
The first presidential debate will be at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio on Monday, September 26, 2016. No Republican has ever won the presidency without winning Ohio and the state's residents have voted with the eventual winner for the past 13 consecutive elections.
Next up is the vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia on Tuesday October 4. Virginia and Ohio were two of only four states to be decided by less than 5% popular vote margin in 2012, indicative of our nation's increasing electoral polarization.
The second presidential debate will be Sunday, October 9 at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. While Missouri has been trending 'redder' in recent presidential elections, it was decided by just 0.1% in 2008 so could be competitive in the right circumstances.
The final presidential debate will be Wednesday, October 19 at UNLV in Las Vegas, Nevada. The state has voted with the eventual presidential winner in each election since 1980. It has also seen its electoral votes double, from 3 to 6, in that period.
Candidates that earn any pledged delegates in Iowa will make the stage, with an alternate polling and donor path also available.
Vermont to follow Saturday; both states hold their primaries on Super Tuesday, March 3
While the nominee will be someone else, the seat being vacated by the retiring Sen. Mike Enzi is safely Republican.
The New Jersey Senator had been polling 2-3% nationally; missed the cut for Tuesday's debate
9th in our series: Idaho last voted Democratic in a presidential election back in 1964. Little reason to think that will change in 2020