NBC News, MSNBC to host February Democratic debate in Las Vegas

The event, the third NBC News debate of the 2020 election cycle, is one of four early-state debates in January and February.
Image: Democratic debate
From left, Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders during the second Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami on June 27, 2019.Saul Loeb / AFP - Getty Images

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By Adam Edelman

NBC News and MSNBC will host a Democratic presidential primary debate Feb. 19 in Las Vegas, the Democratic National Committee announced Thursday.

The committee announced the NBC News/MSNBC debate as part of a slate of four debates, which will occur in early-voting states in January and February.

The Las Vegas debate, which will be hosted in partnership with the Nevada Independent newspaper, will come amid the crucial early-state voting contests in the primary, occurring after the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary — and just days before the Nevada caucuses Feb. 22.

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This will be the third NBC News debate of the 2020 presidential election cycle. The moderators, format, candidates, qualifications, broadcast time and venue will all be announced at a later date.

The NBC News/MSNBC debate will air on both networks.

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The other debates will take place Jan. 14 (hosted by CNN and the Des Moines Register) at Drake University, in Des Moines, Iowa; Feb. 7 (hosted by ABC, WMUR and Apple News) at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire; and Feb. 25 (hosted by CBS News and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute) at the Gaillard Center in Charleston, South Carolina. Twitter will also be a partner for the Feb. 25 debate in Charleston.

The four debates announced Thursday will be the seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th of the presidential election cycle.

NBC News, MSNBC and Telemundo hosted the first of the Democratic primary debates in June. The two-night, 20 candidate event was the most watched Democratic presidential primary debate in history. MSNBC and The Washington Post co-hosted the fifth Democratic presidential primary debate in Atlanta in November.

The next Democratic presidential primary debate will take place Dec. 19 in Los Angeles and will be hosted by PBS and Politico. Seven candidates — former Vice President Joe Biden, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, billionaire Tom Steyer and businessman Andrew Yang — have qualified.