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Harvard Institute of Politics to Co-Host Primetime Democratic Presidential Candidate Town Hall Event

The Harvard Institute of Politics.
The Harvard Institute of Politics. By Megan M. Ross
By Jania J. Tumey, Crimson Staff Writer

Five Democratic presidential candidates will participate in a town hall co-hosted by CNN and the Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School, the IOP announced Thursday.

Presidential candidates Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), and South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete P. Buttigieg ’04 will take part in the event on April 22. Beginning at 7 p.m., each candidate will have one hour to receive and answer questions from a live student audience at St. Anselm’s College in Manchester, N.H.

CNN anchors Anderson Cooper, Chris Cuomo, and Don Lemon will moderate the event. Lemon recently visited the Harvard IOP to speak about race, media, and politics. Warren is a Harvard Law School professor emeritus, and Buttigieg attended the College and visited the IOP last week to meet with students.

Harvard IOP Director Mark D. Gearan ’78 said in a press release that the opportunity for young voters to interact with presidential candidates is important, and that he looks forward to “the exchange of ideas.”

“The votes of young Americans could be the determining factor in this election,” Gearan said. “Young voters are eager to be engaged and speak directly to those seeking the presidency.”

The event is a collaboration between Harvard’s IOP and the New Hampshire Institute of politics. The audience will include 500 youth voters, more than 200 of whom are expected to be Harvard University students, according to the release.

Student President of the Harvard IOP Anna L. Duffy ’21 said the event is a valuable chance for candidates to demonstrate their ideas to young voters.

“Young voters across the country are looking for presidential candidates to address the most pressing issues that are important to our generation,” Duffy said in the press release. “This is an opportunity for candidates to share their policy platforms, showcase their values, and make the argument for why young voters should support their candidacy.”

The results of the biannual Harvard IOP Youth Poll will be released the same day as the CNN town hall event, according to the release. The survey includes questions about climate change, economic inequality, and gun violence among other salient issues. It is directed at votes ages 18 to 29.

— Staff writer Jania J. Tumey can be reached at

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