ABC, NBC set GOP debates

Both set for the January weekend before N.H. primary

ABC News and NBC News can start planning their upcoming Republican primary debates now.

Both news divisions pegged debates to the all-important New Hampshire Primary — more or less the starter pistol for the election season. But with other states moving their primary dates forward, New Hampshire took its time setting Jan. 10 as the official day for Granite State GOPers to cast their ballots.

Just like the states participating in the primary, there has been a race among news orgs to land a major debate early in the season. NBC has partnered with Facebook and the New Hampshire Union Leader for a debate the Sunday before the primary — Jan. 8, at 9 a.m. (usually skedded for “Meet the Press”). The politicking will take place at the Chubb Theater with David Gregory moderating.

ABC will broadcast its debate at St. Anselm College twelve hours earlier, on Jan. 7 at 9 p.m. (opposite an NFL playoff game on NBC), in partnership with affiliate WMUR and moderated by George Stephanopoulos and the local station’s Josh McElveen.