Democratic presidential candidates will have one more chance to take their message to voters before voting begins, as the Democratic National Committee hastily scheduled a town hall on Monday in Des Moines — exactly one week before the Iowa caucuses.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders will answer questions from voters in a CNN prime-time telecast.
The town hall will be moderated by CNN’s Chris Cuomo and will air from 9 p.m.-11 p.m. EST.
“We are honored to partner with CNN on their town hall with our three fantastic Democratic candidates,” said chair of the Iowa Democratic Party, Dr. Andy McGuire.”With this event airing just one week before the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses, it’s an incredible opportunity for Iowans to see our candidates detail their plans to move our country forward and their vision for Iowa and the nation.”
The move is a sudden and unexpected departure from the DNC’s original plan of limiting the number of debates, with three of them scheduled on low-rated weekend nights.
The party came under heavy attack from Sanders and O’Malley for what they believe was a deliberate move by the DNC to stack the deck in favor of Clinton. The New York Times reported Sunday that some Clinton advisers now regret not pushing for more debates.
Republican are holding three times as many debates as the Democrats, and their debates have been highly rated, in part because of the unpredictability of Donald Trump.
The CNN town hall comes as Clinton and Sanders are in a virtual dead heat in Iowa, and Sanders leads Clinton in New Hampshire by double digits. Clinton, however is ahead in South Carolina and in national polls.