2004 prez race on CNN radar

All nine Democratic candidates expected to participate

Political news junkies hooked on the California recall election don’t have to worry about withdrawals, with CNN skedded to air a 2004 presidential debate Thursday.

All nine Democratic candidates are expected to partake in the 90-minute showdown, to be telecast from the Orpheum Theater in Phoenix beginning at 8 p.m. ET.

CNN political veteran Judy Woodruff will anchor the event. Contributing panelists will be CNN correspondents Candy Crowley and Jeff Greenfield.

The Democratic National Committee, CNN and the Arizona Democratic Party are sponsoring the debate.

Even with the presidential election more than a year away, all the TV news networks are devoting substantial resources to covering the race for the White House.

CNBC and MSNBC both chalked up stronger-than-expected ratings when airing a Democratic presidential debate in late September.

Same for Fox News Channel, which teamed up with the Congressional Black Caucus Institute in hosting a presidential debate in early September. Last week, Fox News and the institute announced they will partner with the Democratic National Committee to host a debate in Detroit on Oct. 26.

Thursday’s debate will air live on CNN and CNN radio.

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