Saint Anselm College to Host New Hampshire’s Only Democratic Presidential Primary Debate

December 12, 2019

By Laura Lemire and Alexis Soucy

Updated January 28, 2020

In the days leading to the New Hampshire primary, Saint Anselm College will take center stage with media from around the world.

The Democratic Debate, hosted in partnership with ABC News and WMUR-TV, will take place on Feb. 7, at 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. in the Thomas J. Sullivan Arena. ABC will air several programs from campus that week, including “Good Morning America” with George Stephanopoulos and “World News Tonight” with David Muir.

Stephanopoulos, Muir and ABC News correspondent Linsey Davis will moderate The Democratic Debate.

Meanwhile, CNN will hold two major town hall forums with presidential candidates on Feb. 5 and 6 beginning at 8 p.m. each night. The events will be broadcast from the Dana Center, which will be CNN’s home for coverage of the New Hampshire Primary. They also will use Alumni Hall as a backdrop for election coverage.

In all, some 600 media members will on campus for the days leading to the debate, with many remaining through the Feb. 11 primary, showcasing the Hilltop to audiences around the world.

The college’s New Hampshire Institute of Politics already has been in the spotlight as for months presidential hopefuls have visited the institute’s “Politics and Eggs” and “Politics Unplugged 2020” series.

“Democracy depends on an educated citizenry and therefore we are proud to host New Hampshire’s only first-in-the-nation primary debate,” said Dr. Joseph A. Favazza, president of Saint Anselm College.

Original published December 12, 2019

Saint Anselm College has been selected by ABC Television Network as the site of the only head-to-head presidential primary debate in New Hampshire for the Democratic Party ahead of the state's first-in-the-nation primary election on February 11, 2020.

ABC will partner with Saint Anselm College, Apple News, and ABC-affiliated television station WMUR-TV for the Democratic primary debate on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020. The Democratic debate will take place in Thomas F. Sullivan Arena.

"Saint Anselm is proud to play a role to support and shape the American democratic process with this important event," says Dr. Joseph A. Favazza, president of Saint Anselm College. "This unique opportunity for our students to work closely with leading politicians and national media professionals is a wonderful example of the transformative experiences our students have while on the Hilltop."

For over 60 years, Saint Anselm College has been welcoming candidates for the United States Presidency. Every four years, Saint Anselm College becomes a hub for political activity ahead of New Hampshire’s presidential primary. Home to the New Hampshire Institute of Politics (NHIOP), a must-stop on the campaign trail for all major contenders for the White House, Saint Anselm has a rich history of hosting debates and presidential primary events. ABC previously chose the college for a Republican primary debate in February 2016, a Democratic primary debate in December 2015, and a Republican primary debate in January 2012; CNN held a debate at Saint Anselm in June 2011; and CNN and ABC conducted four debates on campus during the 2008 election cycle.

The college hosted its first presidential primary debate in 1984, sponsored by the League of Women Voters. Over the last seven decades, Saint Anselm has presented hundreds of visits, talks, speeches, and events featuring national political figures. In the past 12 months alone, 16 candidates for the country's highest office appeared at Politics & Eggs, an event series and tradition conducted by the New England Council and the NHIOP, and five candidates appeared in CNN town halls televised live from the campus’ Dana Center for the Humanities. See which presidential candidates have visited the NHIOP »

The Democratic primary debate will air nationally on the ABC Television Network and on WMUR-TV (Channel 9) in northern New England from 8:00 to 11:00 pm ET.

ABC News today announced Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos, “World News Tonight” Anchor and Managing Editor David Muir and ABC News Correspondent Linsey Davis will moderate The Democratic Debate. They will be joined by WMUR-TV Political Director Adam Sexton and WMUR-TV News Anchor Monica Hernandez who will also ask questions on the minds of voters.

Stephanopoulos and Muir will be joined by ABC News’ powerhouse political team, including Anchor Byron Pitts, Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz, Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl, Senior White House Correspondent Cecilia Vega, Senior Congressional Correspondent Mary Bruce, Senior National Correspondent Terry Moran, FiveThirtyEight Editor-in-Chief Nate Silver, Special Correspondent Matthew Dowd and Contributors Yvette Simpson, Rahm Emanuel and Chris Christie, who will report from Manchester before and after the debate providing the latest coverage and analysis on the debate, the presidential race and the candidates.

How to Watch the Debate

The ABC News Democratic Debate will air live nationally on the ABC Television Network and locally on WMUR-TV. ABC News will livestream the debate on ABC News Live featured on Apple News, Roku, Hulu, AppleTV, Amazon Fire TV, Xumo, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and the ABC News site and mobile phone apps. WMUR-TV will also livestream the debate on and WMUR's mobile app. 




ABC News is handling all media credentialing. Applications will not be accepted after Jan. 15. All applications will be subject to approval and availability.

Media Filing Center

The media filing center is located at Saint Anselm College’s Carr Center (includes spin room). The outdoor stand-up location will be across the street from the media filing centers in a parking lot.

Additional Information

All credentialed press will have access to the Carr Center media filiing center, where the spin room is located immediately following the debate. Only those with a spin room credential will be allowed access inside the spin room.

All credentialed press will receive a media advisory with further information and logistics prior to the debate.