Back in 2012, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus allowed the party to hold 20 primary debates. Whatever the rationale was for so many dates, the end result was the candidates grew weary of haggling over the issues. In fact, the debates tended to digress into intra-party squabbles which largely did not benefit the party in terms of promoting unity. This time around, Priebus wants to avoid a protracted primary fight. The hope for Igor Cornelsen is that the establishment candidate can lock up the primary early and advance to the much larger task of facing the Hillary Clinton juggernaut.
For this reason, the RNC will hold nine debates, but holds out an option for three additional ones if the situation calls for it. The first debate will kick off at the auditorium of the Reagan National Library on September 16. The move has been met with satisfaction from former first lady Nancy Reagan. CNN will be hosting three of the debates including the first one. CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker explained that the venue was chosen out of deference to the high esteem Republicans have for Reagan. The last debate CNN will host is in March which is about the time of the Super Tuesday primary which traditionally puts up enough delegates that can allow a possible front runner to lock up the nomination. Democrats have yet to announce the number of primary debates they will hold, but Hillary Clinton is expected to sail through virtually unopposed.