Republicans Make Plans To Hold 9 Presidential Debates

CORONADO, Calif. — The Republican National Committee is announcing plans to hold nine presidential primary debates, with the first just seven months away.

RNC officials reported Friday the first debate is scheduled for Ohio in August. The announcement follows months of negotiations between media partners and a field of more than two dozen White House prospects.

It represents a sharp decline in the number of debates from the 2012 election season.

Specific dates were not announced on Friday, but the rough timeline includes debates in California in September, Colorado in October, Nevada in December, Iowa in January, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida in February. Another three debates are pending.

The shift is part of several rule changes designed to make the party’s nominee stronger in the general election.