Debate moderators unveiled
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This year’s presidential debates will be moderated by NBC's Lester Holt, Fox News’s Chris Wallace, CNN's Anderson Cooper and ABC's Martha Raddatz.


The nonprofit, non-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates on Friday unveiled the list of moderators, which had been hotly debated in recent weeks.

Holt will handle the pivotal first presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., on Sept. 26. This will be his first time moderating a general election presidential debate. 

Republican presidential nominee Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump goes after Cassidy after saying he wouldn't support him for president in 2024 Jan. 6 panel lays out criminal contempt case against Bannon Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Agencies sound alarm over ransomware targeting agriculture groups MORE recently gave a thumbs-up to Holt, telling radio host Hugh Hewitt in an August interview that he thinks "Lester Holt is a good guy." Holt was the only name broached in the interview that Trump had unqualified praise for. 

Raddatz and Cooper will team up to cover the town hall-style debate on Oct. 9 at Washington University in St. Louis. 

Raddatz was a vice presidential debate moderator in 2012. Cooper was a moderator twice in Democratic primary debates, as well as in several town hall events.

And Wallace will moderate the third debate at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas on Oct. 19. Wallace was part of the Fox News moderating team, along with Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly, that handled several GOP primary debates.

Elaine Quijano of CBS News will moderate the only vice presidential debate on Oct. 4.

Missing the cut were big names including Kelly, who famously butted heads with Trump in the first GOP primary debate. A recent Morning Consult poll showed Kelly as the second most-desired pick to moderate a debate, behind Cooper.

A recent survey by The Hill also revealed CBS's John Dickerson, CNN's Jake Tapper and ABC's Jonathan Karl as front-runners for a moderator spot. 

The debate promises to be pivotal in the presidential race, as polls show the battle between Trump and Democrat Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by Raytheon Technologies — Nation mourns Colin Powell The Memo: Powell ended up on losing side of GOP fight Powell death leads to bipartisan outpouring of grief MORE tightening.

Clinton leads nationally by 3.9 points, according to a RealClearPolitics average of polls. She led the RCP average by nearly 8 points at times in August.

Updated at 9:40 a.m.