Could Mickey Mouse and Wolf Blitzer team up to moderate a Republican primary debate anytime soon?
Probably not, but the Disney-owned ABC News and the Warner Bros. Discovery-owned CNN networks are, in fact, reportedly angling to get in on those debates, according to a new report from Politico.
Citing three unnamed people who were familiar with these discussions, Politico revealed that the Republican primary debates may extend beyond Wednesday’s debate in Alabama — a debate that, for now, is the final scheduled debate of the GOP primary.
According to the report, it does appear that ABC News has a more concrete idea of what it wants to do for these hypothetical GOP primary debates.
The Disney-owned news network “is considering” hosting a GOP primary debate “just ahead” of the Jan. 23 primary in New Hampshire.
Network officials are eyeing St. Anselm College in New Hampshire as the site for this debate.
A walk-through of the venue for network executives and the New Hampshire Republican Party was slated for today, though it’s unclear if that walk-through happened.
Conversely, CNN appears to be in a much more embryonic stage, as Politico noted that the embattled news network has only just “begun reaching out to the presidential campaigns to inform them of their interest in hosting a debate” and that “it is not clear when or where such an event would take place.”
While both CNN and ABC News can plan to their hearts content, there is one significant hurdle standing in the way of any potential debates happening after Wednesday night: the Republican National Committee.
Per Politico, each GOP primary candidate had pledged to only participated in officially sanctioned RNC debates — which debates on ABC News and CNN wouldn’t be.
If the RNC acquiesces to this, CNN and ABC News would both be free to use whatever format they prefer, as opposed to the agreed upon format the RNC-sanctioned debates have been using.
Whatever happens next, most of the primary candidates would probably welcome extra debates.
And that’s because most of them are facing a slog of an uphill battle to overtake the GOP primary frontrunner, former President Donald Trump — who has been conspicuous by his absence at each of the primary debates.
Trump, who holds a commanding 47.8 point lead in Real Clear Politics’ latest GOP primary polling data, has made it clear that he considers the debates a glorified contest for second-place behind himself.
Given that the polling data does appear to back up Trump’s claims, having more debates on national stages could theoretically help chip away at that seemingly insurmountable Trump lead.
After Trump, the next GOP primary candidate polling the highest is Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is then trailed by (in order) former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
DeSantis (13.3 points) and Haley (10.2 points) are the only other two GOP primary candidates currently polling in the double-digits.
If no further debates materialize, all of the candidates not named Trump will have their work cut out for them to make up any ground on Wednesday night.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.