LOS ANGELES (CNN) – CNN announced Thursday that it will partner with the Ohio Democratic Party and the Ohio Republican Party for back-to-back presidential debates at the end of February.
With the race for each party nomination likely to extend beyond the February 5 Super Tuesday contests, it’s increasingly possible the critical battleground state of Ohio – which holds its presidential primary March 4, along with three other states - could very well determine the 2008 Democratic and Republican nominees.
"Ohio will once again decide who wins the White House,” said Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern. “The Ohio Democratic debate is important because it will allow the next President of the United States to address the issues most important to Ohioans."
Republican Party Deputy Chairman Kevin DeWine also highlighted the state’s potential kingmaker status. "No Republican has ever won the White House without winning Ohio,” said DeWine. “It's a critical battleground state in November that could play a deciding role on March 4. We're proud to partner with CNN on this debate in advance of what could be a decisive primary election in the Buckeye State."
The Democratic debate will take place Wednesday, February 27, while the Republican debate will follow on Thursday, February 28. The network said further details will be released soon.