11th Democratic debate to take place next month in Arizona

The debate will take place two days before voters head to the primary in the Grand Canyon State, which is emerging as a 2020 battleground.
Image: Democratic Presidential Candidates Participate In Presidential Primary Debate In Des Moines, Iowa
Elizabeth Warren speaks as Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders listen during the Democratic presidential primary debate on Jan. 14, 2020 in Des Moines, Iowa.Scott Olson / Getty Images

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By Dartunorro Clark

The 11th Democratic presidential debate will take place in Phoenix on Sunday, March 15, the Democratic National Committee announced Friday.

The debate, hosted by CNN and Univision, is taking place two days before voters head to the primary in Arizona, which is emerging as a battleground in 2020. Illinois and the competitive states of Ohio and Florida also hold their nominating contests on March 17.

Except for Bill Clinton in 1996, a Democrat has not carried Arizona in a presidential election since Harry Truman won the state in 1948. Donald Trump won the state over Hillary Clinton by only a few percentage points in 2016.

The debate will air from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET, CNN reported, and it is being held in partnership with CHC Bold, the political action committee of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

The venue, format, moderators and qualification criteria will be announced at a later date, the DNC said.

“Arizona is a battleground state, and it’s clear Democrats can win here at every level of the ballot," DNC Chair Tom Perez said in the news release announcing the debate. "After historic Democratic victories in 2018, we’re putting the Republicans on defense in the Grand Canyon State."

"This debate will showcase our Democratic presidential candidates, highlight Trump’s record of broken promises and make it clear that Democrats are fighting to give Arizonans a better future,” Perez said.

The debate comes at about the midway point in the Democratic nominating process and will be preceded by two debates this month, on Feb. 19 in Las Vegas, hosted by NBC News and MSNBC, and on Feb. 25 in Charleston, South Carolina, hosted by CBS News and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute.