The Daily Caller announced Thursday that it will host a Republican Presidential Primary Debate on July 10 in conjunction with Americans for Tax Reform and Citizens Outreach Foundation. The debate will be held in Nevada, an early caucus state, at the Conservative Leadership Conference in Las Vegas.
Nevada’s caucus, to be held February 18, will be the third event of the campaign season.
Daily Caller Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson and ATR president Grover Norquist will moderate the debate. “The primary debates are really the first time most voters get a close look at the candidates,” Carlson said. “It’s always revealing.”
The announcement comes just a few days after Politico, NBC, and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation decided to postpone what was to be the first 2012 Republican Presidential Debate because there are so few candidates who have officially entered the race. The debate, originally scheduled for May 2, 2011, was moved to September 14, 2011. Fox News is scheduled to host a debate in South Carolina on May 5.
More candidates are expected to enter the race in the next few months. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann reportedly plans to form an exploratory committee by June. Other candidates are on a more rapid time line – Mitt Romney is expected to announce by early April.
TheDC/ATR debate will come just a month before the Ames Straw Poll, to be held in Iowa on August 13. Quarterly reports for presidential candidates to the FEC are due on July 15, an important indicator of candidates’ fundraising abilities.