National Democratic Party officials and network TV are as culpable as are certain Republican Party operatives at state and national levels in trying to control the presidential election process.

ABC-TV hyped last Thursday’s “debate” with “now it comes down to 10 candidates” as if this were in fact the sum total of the Democratic field. This is a deliberate distortion of the election process and an insult to anyone over the age of 2.

In one sense, this attempted “rigging for ratings” approach can make the New Hampshire primary even more important for long-shot candidates who might have a breakthrough here. But it also will discourage some of these candidates. Some have dropped out already and others will need grit and determination to stay in the game and retain supporters for the several months remaining before the real primary.

Cable TV, and not just Fox, helped Donald Trump win the GOP nod in 2016 by airing his every word while giving short shrift to the other Republican contenders. Now the networks as well as cable are conspiring with the DNC to determine who will face Trump next fall.

They’d better be careful what they wish for. A nominee who is determined solely by big bucks and TV ratings may not be the best candidate to take on a wily foe.