Primary Debates and Forums

ABC News/Yahoo! Debate

Photo: ABC News

Saturday, December 10, 2011 in Sheslow Auditorium at Drake University in Des
Moines, IA from 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET.

Press Releases from ABC News  |  More Pre-Debate   |  Post-Debate

Sponsors:  ABC News, Yahoo!, ABC5/WOI-DT, the Republican Party of Iowa and The Des Moines Register.

Candidates:  Rep. Michele Bachmann, former Speaker Newt Gingrich, Rep. Ron Paul, Gov. Rick Perry, former Gov. Mitt Romney and former Sen. Rick Santorum.

Moderator:  ABC News anchors Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos.

Audience:  About 680 people; tickets allocated by the Republican Party of Iowa about 20-percent to Drake University, 40-percent to sponsors, and 40-percent to Republican activists.

BroadcastNationally on the ABC Television Network and locally on ABC5/WOI-DT.  Live-streamed on,,, and

Format:  Although there nominally one-minute answers and 30-second responses/rebuttals, Stephanopoulos stated "we're not going to be big time timekeepers."

Overview:  This was the first debate in two and a half weeks, the first since Herman Cain suspended his campaign, and the first since conventional wisdom began to portray Newt Gingrich as the alternative to Mitt Romney.  It came 24 days before the Iowa caucuses.