The Democratic National Committee has formally agreed to add four more Democratic presidential debates to the 2016 calendar, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.
A DNC spokesman confirmed to the Post that the four debates—the first of which will be held on Thursday in New Hampshire—will “all be sanctioned.”
The DNC has faced heavy criticism from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and former Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley for limiting the debate schedule. Both charged that the small number of opportunities for the Democratic candidates to appear in front of a national audience—and scheduling them during times of low TV viewership—benefited Hillary Clinton, who has the greatest name recognition.
MSNBC will host tomorrow’s debate. The other three forums will be held in Flint, Michigan in March, in Pennsylvania in April, and in California in May. According to the Post, Clinton requested that one debate be held in Flint to highlight its crisis of lead-contaminated water.
The addition of these four debates brings the total held by the DNC to 10. The Republican National Committee has sanctioned 16.