WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic candidates for the White House in 2016 will hold their first primary debate, hosted by CNN, in the swing state of Nevada on October 13, the party said on Thursday.
Announcing the Democrats' debate calendar on the day the first Republican primary debate takes place, the Democratic National Committee also set five other Democratic contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida and Wisconsin.
"These six debates. . . will highlight the clear contrast between the values of the Democratic Party which is focused on strengthening the middle class versus Republicans who want to pursue out of touch and out of date policies,” DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in a statement.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leads opinion polls of the five people who have announced they are running for the Democratic nomination at the November 2016 election.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is her nearest challenger.
Later on Thursday, real estate mogul Donald Trump will be at center stage in Cleveland, Ohio as 10 leading Republican presidential candidates look for a break-out moment in their first debate.
(Reporting by Alistair Bell; Editing by Bernadette Baum)