Dates set for Michigan presidential debates

Both logos in photo art from Wikipedia
Both logos in photo art from Wikipedia

- Presidential hopefuls will head to Michigan next month for debates with their respective parties.

The GOP debate is scheduled for 9 p.m. on Thursday, March 3 at the FOX Theater in Detroit. Democratic candidates will debate on Saturday, March 6 in Flint, though the exact location has not yet been released.

The debates will take place days before the Michigan and Mississippi primaries. The Republican debate will be hosted by FOX News Channel and the Democratic by CNN, with Chris Wallace moderating.

While candidates have not yet confirmed their attendance, possible participants in the Republican debate include Donald Trump, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Ohio Governor John Kasich and Dr. Ben Carson.

"Republican leadership in Michigan has helped Detroit become known as the Comeback City," the Michigan Republican Party wrote in its debate announcement. "Having this debate in Detroit further illustrates the commitment of Republicans to continue the Comeback of Michigan's largest city."

The two remaining Democratic presidential candidates, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, are both expected at their debate on March 6.

"America has witnessed the man-made public health disaster inflicted upon the city of Flint, and we applaud Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders for their efforts to shine a light on the crisis, especially when our Republican governor has done everything he can to keep Michigan's citizens in the dark," Michigan Democratic Party Chair Brandon Dillon said in a statement. "Holding a presidential debate in Flint will bring further into focus the issues faced by working families here in Michigan and around the country."

Earlier this year, Trump was declared the winner of both the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries. Cruz and Rubio finished in the top three in Iowa, and Cruz and Kasich in the top three in New Hampshire. Clinton won the Iowa primary by a slim margin of victory and Sanders won New Hampshire.

Recent polls show Trump leading the GOP race and Clinton ahead in the Democratic race for the upcoming Oklahoma primary on March 1.

Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee withdrew from the GOP race the first week of February following the Iowa caucus. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina dropped out the second week of February after the New Hampshire caucus.

Maryland governor Martin O'Malley dropped out of the Democratic race in early February after finishing with 0.6 percent of the Iowa caucus vote.

Click here for information about attending the Republican debate, and click here for information from the Michigan Democratic Party.


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