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Dates of next 4 Democratic presidential debates announced

They will be held in the states of the first four primary contests, days before those voters go to the polls.

The dates and locations of the first four Democratic presidential debates of the new year were announced this week. The announcement comes just as there is a concern the candidates may boycott next week's debate in Los Angeles.

The debates in January and February will be held in the states of the first four primary contests.

  • January 14 at Drake University in Iowa, hosted by CNN and The Des Moines Register. The Iowa caucus will be held on February 3.
  • February 7 at St. Anselm College in Manchester, NH, hosted by ABC News, WMUR-TV and Apple News. The New Hampshire primary will be held on February 11.
  • February 19 in Las Vegas, Nev. NBC News and MSNBC will host in partnership with The Nevada Independent. The Nevada caucus will be held on February 22.
  • February 25 at The Gaillard Center in Charleston, South Carolina, hosted by CBS News and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute. The South Carolina primary will be held on February 29.

Qualification criteria for the debate will be announced later, the Democratic National Committee said. Grassroots fundraising and polling have been used as criteria for the first six debates, with those thresholds gradually becoming more difficult to achieve.

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RELATED: Democrats threaten to boycott next debate over labor dispute

The next debate is scheduled for Thursday at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, but a labor dispute there is threatening the event. All seven candidates who have qualified have vowed to boycott if the dispute forces them to cross picket lines. The Democratic National Committee expressed support for the boycott and said it is trying to come up with an "acceptable resolution” to the situation. Loyola Marymount says it's not a party to the contract negotiations but had contacted the food services company involved.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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