Day by day, the schedule for 2012 presidential debates is being set. Fox News announced its sponsorship of a debate today.
Spring: Politico and NBC News, the Reagan Presidential Library, Simi Valley, California. The sponsors have pledged that this will be the first debate of the cycle.
Early May: Fox News, Greenville, South Carolina.
June 7, 2011: CNN and the Manchester Union Leader, Manchester, New Hampshire.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that Fox News Channel and the Florida GOP are likely to host a primary debate in the state in October 2011.
UPDATE: And here’s number four, although it’s thankfully in 2012:
ABC News and WMUR-TV, ABC’s Hearst-owned affiliate in Manchester, NH, are joining forces once again to host a Republican presidential primary debate in New Hampshire between the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary in 2012. This debate will be held at a critical moment in the Republican nomination process — just as the primary season gets underway. The specific date and time of this debate will be determined once the dates for the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary have been determined by state officials. The debate will air locally on WMUR-TV, nationally on the ABC Television Network and will be live-streamed on ABCNews.com and WMUR.com.
ABC News and WMUR-TV co-hosted back-to-back Democratic and Republican presidential debates in 2008 at the same time in the primary season, and have enjoyed a long partnership covering “First in the Nation” politics in New Hampshire. In 2008, more than 9 million viewers across the country tuned in to watch the Democratic debate and 7.35 million for the Republican debate. The debates were also among the highest rated programs in WMUR-TV history.