In modern politics, the question of whether lesser-known third-party candidates should be invited to the Presidential Debates is a hotly debated topic in and of itself. In 2012, Gary Johnson is seeking the Presidency running under the Libertarian banner while Jill Stein is running under the Green Party banner. Along with President Obama and Mitt Romney, both Johnson and Stein will be on enough state ballots to theoretically win the 270 electoral votes needed to become President.

Taylor Tyler examines this topic over at IVN:

The CPD’s mission statement is as follows:

”The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) was established in 1987 to ensure that debates, as a permanent part of every general election, provide the best possible information to viewers and listeners. Its primary purpose is to sponsor and produce debates for the United States presidential and vice presidential candidates and to undertake research and educational activities relating to the debates. The organization, which is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) corporation, sponsored all the presidential debates in 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000,2004 and 2008.”

For the CPD to successfully complete their mission of providing the best possible information to viewers and listeners, they must invite every candidate who has a mathematical chance of winning the presidential election. That is to say, a candidate must be listed on the ballot in enough states to be able to win 270 electoral votes.

There are currently four candidates who meet this requirement: Barack Obama, Gary Johnson, Mitt Romney, and Jill Stein. These four candidate also each receive matching FEC funds, which are paid for through the one dollar check off on individual income tax returns.

Since each of these candidates have varying opinions on the issues being debated, and each have different information to provide, they must be invited to participate in the debates. Failing to invite Gary Johnson and Jill Stein is failing to provide a large portion of information to the viewers and listeners.

Aside from already receiving matching FEC funds and the ability to theoretically win the 270 necessary electoral votes, there are a few more compelling reasons to bring this debate over participation requirements into the forefront:

With a record high percentage of U.S. voters identifying as independent from the Democratic and Republican parties, one would think that the Commission would feel obligated to invite candidates from outside the two-party system.

A poll released by Gallup on Sept. 12 asked, “Do the Republican and Democratic parties do an adequate job of representing the American people, or do they do such a poor job that a major third party is needed?” The results showed that 46 percent of Americans believe a third party is needed.

Ross Perot has been the only third party candidate invited to participate by the Commission when he was invited in 1992.

However, the reason for which most third-party candidates are not invited has to do with the 15% rule. Unless a candidate can show 15% in a series of national polls, they are instantly disqualified from receiving a debate invitation. This discussion can be argued both ways. It is somewhat reasonable to say that the likely winner of the election will either be President Obama or Mitt Romney, neither Johnson or Stein truly have a chance. However, in the same breath, it is arguable that the reason Stein and Johnson do not have as much of a chance has to do with the reasons outlined about which don’t give them as much free press exposure.

I’m sure there are some strong opinions on this topic. I’d love to see some reader comments.

77 COMMENTS

  1. That is exactly why Ron Paul is not the nominee. He was ridiculed during the debates. He was treated as if he did not exist by the mess media. AND the Romney camp and RNC locked him and his duly-elected delegates out of the convention.
    Only God can save us and He doesn’t seem to want to give America a second chance because, frankly, we don’t deserve it. We did this to ourselves. We have tolerated ourselves right out of existence.

    • Yo Billy,
      How about allowing all of the candidates that have ballot access on 85% of the states?

      Current ballot access requirements by the “BI-partisan” (as in TWO) Presidential Debate Commission mandates a 15% polling hurdle. As ballot access is also a major hurdle, why not abstract that 15% and say if a candidate will be on 85% of the state ballots across the nation, they can participate in the debates?

      To my knowledge, Gary Johnson is on the ballot in 47 states and Romney is sueing to keep VOTERS from chosing Johnson in Michigan, Iowa and Pennsylvania. On the other hand, Obama is sueing to keep Johnson off the ballot in Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico (the DEMOCRAT leaning state that elected Johnson as governor TWICE).

  2. Billy, one option was presented in the article. Open it up based on ballot access. That is, any candidate (NOT “party”) that will be on the ballot in enough states to have a mathematical chance of winning the necessary electoral votes. This allows candidates to get on the ballot in different states under different party-affiliation lines, which could be critical to some candidates.

    I think it is a reasonable idea.

    • Neville:

      YES. I did research on this, and the precedent is to count votes for the CANDIDATE, not the party. They DID add the votes of a candidate nominated by two different parties.

  3. Nate: Excellent topic.

    The 270 rule makes excellent sense. The 15% rule does NOT.

    Shut up and shut down third party participation and then say they can’t be heard because we won’t let them be heard?

    I don’t know Jill Stein, but Gary Johnson certainly deserves to be heard–even though a GOP lawsuit is keeping me from voting for him in Michigan.

      • Billy:

        Only problem with that is some dingbat could get on one of the “empty states” pretty easily–let’s say for example, a state like Alaska, which has less than 3/4 of a million people–in the entire state! We could end up with 50 candidates.
        And real dingbats.

        I agree with Nate: if a candidate has worked to be on enough states to get to 270 electoral votes, THAT is a “serious candidate.”

  4. It makes sense to open up the debates to third party candidates who have a chance of winning based on electoral votes…Stein has that chance.

    I’ve noticed a couple petitions requesting that third parties be allowed to participate in this year’s debate. Any thoughts on whether or not the agency that makes this decision will fold and allow Stein and Johnson to participate in the presidential debate?

    What does everyone think?

    • Chris:

      Not a chance on earth that the Commission would allow a third party candidate willingly:

      The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) began in 1987 by the Democratic and Republican parties to establish the way that presidential election debates are run BETWEEN [meaning “two”] candidates for President of the United States.

      In 1988, the League of Women Voters withdrew its sponsorship of the presidential debates after the George H.W. Bush and Michael Dukakis campaigns secretly agreed to a “memorandum of understanding” that would decide which candidates could participate in the debates, which individuals would be panelists (and therefore able to ask questions), and the height of the podiums.

    • Got to earn your spot just like in show business. Just because you are good doesn’t mean you will be a success.

  5. You must be kidding? There are only two candidates in this race who voters want to hear from–Romney & Obama. Who would want a disjointed, confusing circus like some of the primary debates?

    • Ro:

      Big difference. The primary was a circus because they all had the same ideas, so their personalities became the issue.

      The primaries from now to election day will be just the opposite. If we have just two participants, they will recite their talking points and nobody will shake them.

      What we need is at least one third party to shake up the discussion. Perhaps you’re not old enough to remember the 1992 debate. Ross Perot forced the other two candidates to actually SAY something. AND Perot would have WON that election if he had not dropped out and then returned with paranoid stories. That is the real reason the two parties want to ban a third voice.

      • Yeah, he really shot himself in the foot for sure. I went along with everything he said except for the continues war on drugs. He had great influence in Texas in trying to make it drug free and it turned into a dismal failure for the Texas taxpayers. But then again maybe he just said it for the votes as who bothered to check if his plan worked in Texas. It didn’t. But he was big on getting rid of the national debt.

      • PRECISELY. This year it is even more apparent than ever how the polarization is serving NO ONE.strategic” It was a near thing with Perot even though he was only anticipated to damage one side of the dem/gop tug-o-war by splitting their party vote. THIS time the stupid is so extreme that they are clearly unsure which side Johnson could hurt the most, which is a strong indication that there would be a GOOD chance of him actually winning it rather than being the “wasted vote” that most fear he would be (and therefore allowing the greater evil to win by lack of supporting his greatest competition). It’s time to stop playing this game when we cannot win. Vote out of good sense rather than fear and we have a shot at sanity, but vote out of fear and we play the rigged game and still lose. Johnson 2012 is the only choice.

  6. We should hear from all viable candidates who made it to the ballot. We should hear from them equally. Debates that don’t give people equal time are frustrating to watch. No one should be controlling who we hear from. We still get to choose who we vote for. We will be better educated about our choices.

      • Billy:

        I don’t think the TV sponsors care, but the debates, themselves have only two “sponsors”–

        The Commission is headed by Frank Fahrenkopf, a former head of the REPUBLICAN National Committee, and former Massachusetts Senator Paul Kirk, a former head of the DEMOCRATIC National Committee. Under the leadership of these two former heads of party, the CPD established a rule that for a party to be included in the national debates it must garner at least 15% support across five national polls.

        Clearly a case of the Foxes guarding the hen house. . .

        • Guess I should have said the networks. You got Fox, NBC & ABC. All the GOP will be on FOX. It’s still all about ratings for sponsors.

      • Billy:

        At a press conference announcing the commission’s creation, Frank Fahrenkopf, a former head of the REPUBLICAN National Committee, said that the commission was not likely to include third-party candidates in debates, and Kirk said he personally believed they should be excluded from the debates.

        • Some truth there as I’ll bet a lot of people treated RP like a commercial during the primary debates. Most voters had their mind made up before any of the candidates opened their mouths.

          • Billy:

            Right. As GEORGE Romney would have said–the voters were “brainwashed” by all the avalanche of commercials for Willard before they saw the debates.

            • I don’t think the commercials for the candidates convince anyone. But the media talking heads on TV and the paid shills on talk radio treating some candidates as serious and others as not worthy of their time convinces too many voters as to which candidates they should consider.

  7. It’s only funny that those who fill their mouths defending freedom and liberty as well as those who talk so much about standing for civil rights, would do everything in their power to disallow any third party from being heard. While We the People stand on the sides like lambs, being mouth fed the nonsense from both big bully parties that runs our country.
    As George Romney said: “…I’m not in it to win or loose…”. I will vote Gary Johnson, as I did Ross Perot, and will try to persuade everyone I can to vote their conscious, for what is right, for what is American, and to not follow the hype instrumented by both major parties, suppressing any alternative to their reign.

        • When a man wins the Medal of Honor he can say anything he wants. Hey if any man ever deserved to be in the White House it was Admiral Stockdale. Trouble is people expect war heroes to look like John Wayne who couldn’t even get into the service

  8. If Obama and Romney are too chickensh*t to debate Gary Johnson, neither of them deserve to be president.
    (To paraphrase from a recent Kansas City Kansan article)

    • Ellizabeth:

      Right. The two parties each have their published talking points. ONLY a third-party candidate will ask questions that are not expected–and already processed.

      So even if you plan to vote for a major party candidate, you should still want a third person–to ask the tough questions the moderator wouldn’t dare ask.

  9. OK–so, what can we do??

    The debates are OWNED by the two parties. Will it take a lawsuit? Probably wouldn’t act fast enough.

    My guess is that a writing campaign to the networks might work. They will be charging big bucks for commercials. Might take letters directly to the advertisers.

    We might just have to begin a movement for next time. We would probably need an act of Congress to require the commission to change from the 15% rule to the 270 electoral rule–which is much more rational, anyway.

    It would probably take a concerted effort by a coalition of Libertarian and Green parties plus Teaparty plus Occupy, and anyone who isn’t owned by the two parties.

  10. Can we please stop calling these political parties and their candidates “Third parties”? There are more than three, they are not mediators and they do not come in third. Let’s agree to call the Alternative Parties!!

    • Yes, they didn’t want to be part of the sham that would pass for debates. Still, the debates they hosted included the 2 party candidates only.

  11. I agree, it’s definitely time to open up the debates for a third party. Gary Johnson? Jill Stein? Who the heck are they? Why has the average American likely not even heard of them? Why weren’t these people even allowed to participate in the primary debates?

    The system is rigged. It’s set up to where we HAVE to choose between either the Republican party or the Democratic party, or nothing. And the way this country is so badly divided, it’s obvious that this two-party system isn’t working anymore.

    I’m of the personal belief that the Republican party is on its way out. They are fighting for those old social conservative ideals that just don’t fit in this generation. They are failing to appeal to the moderate crowd, and that crowd is leaning independent, because there isn’t a party that embraces their particular hot issues without being too extremely right, or too extremely left. Perhaps in time, when the Republican party as we know it today is gone, it will pave the way for a new party to come to the debates.

    But what we really need is to open the debates up to ALL candidates who technically qualify.

  12. I for one, would like to have the others on the stage to offer alternative opinions which would be presented to the same audience at the same time, so that “other voices” can be heard before people think there are only two opinions on fundamental issues. It isn’t just a question of who wins, it’s a matter of how the issues and alternatives are discussed before the populace.

    • All Real Americans must watch this in ITS ENTIRETY –and spread it like wildfire! You’ll be shocked, disgusted and outraged of what the US Government has already done to Us, We The People, and what it is planning for Us further!

      Award winning documentary from Aaron Russo (producer of such movies: Trading Places, Wise Guys, The Rose). Full Length Documentary Below — Watch, Share, Spread, Discuss!

      *AMERICA — FREEDOM TO FASCISM*

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kE8RtL3azDg&feature=related

  13. Would love to hear some feedback to give to a local politician where I live that has a weekly newsletter and posted this article(rant) on the Middle East. He is stuck in the liberal vs. conservative paradigm and MSM(Fox News), but left the GOP as our precinct chairperson to run on the Constitution party because he was ignored by the GOP and disgusted with with the direction the party has gone in. Like many, he is ill=informed on the history of the Middle East, or in complete denial which many Americans are. How would you respond?

    A Middle Eastern Thank You

    The news that the American Ambassador to Libya, along with three other American diplomatic personnel, was murdered by Islamic extremists yesterday brought back to my mind events that I had been part of nearly forty years ago. On March 2, 1973 Ambassador to Sudan Cleo Noel and his Deputy George Moore were murdered on the orders of Yasser Arafat after being taken hostage by a team of operatives of the Black September Organization (BSO). I was at that time a member of a very small group of National Security Agency (NSA) personnel who were tasked with gathering information on Middle Eastern terrorist groups and specifically those operating under the umbrella of the Palestinian Liberation Organization led by Yasser Arafat.

    On February 28, 1973, we had received intercepts, from one of our listening posts, of Arafat and his top Black September Organization (BSO) henchmen discussing the arrival of BSO members in Khartoum. Within hours we had distributed this information to the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in order that their personnel could take precautions in the event that Americans might be targeted. Unfortunately our warnings were dismissed and two days later Noel and Moore, after being taken hostage, were machine gunned to death in the basement of the Saudi Embassy in Khartoum. The deaths of these diplomats would begin a series of four murders of American ambassadors in the Middle East during the 1970’s. It should be noted that only five American ambassadors have been murdered in our country’s history and four have occurred in that hell-hole part of the world.

    I make no apologies for my words describing the Middle East. It is a part of the world that is ruled by ignorance. That some obscure person in the United States could make a YouTube video mocking Islam that would cause rioting and the breaching of our Cairo embassy walls and the murders of four American diplomatic personnel in Libya speaks for itself as to the level of reason that rules the current Islamic world. Does anyone believe that if a video mocking Christ or Christianity had been made by a Muslim in the Middle East we would see American citizens sacking the embassies of Egypt or Libya in Washington, D.C.? Of course not.

    For nearly forty years the United States of America and its citizens have expended billions of dollars of treasure and above all the lives and blood of tens of thousands of brave American military personnel in the naive pursuit of bringing civilization to this barbaric part of the world. It is a fools pursuit.

    Did we not just recently make possible the liberation of the people of Libya from the tyranny of Gaddafi? And our reward? More bodies of Americans being dragged through the streets to the cheers of mobs? And then, after this barbaric act against our country, the President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai (who owes his stashed away wealth to the American soldiers who weekly die at the hands of his police) has the gall to blame our country’s right of freedom of speech as the reason these riots and murders occurred.
    Enough of sending Americas best and brightest to this Allah forsaken piece of the world. There is nothing that any country in that part of the world possesses that we do not have, oil included. We need nothing from them. Bring our sons and daughters home and let these ignorant ingrates go back to killing each other as they have been doing for fifteen hundred years. And then pray that no American President will ever send our Armed Forces on a mission that is impossible to achieve, namely peace in the Middle East. In fact, I would venture to say that the phrase Peace in the Middle East is the ultimate oxymoron.

    (Editor’s Footnote, Sept. 16: Fox News today reports that 4 “NATO” members were killed by a Afghani policeman who turned on them at a police checkpoint. NATO my ass. They were Americans. I am getting tired of this game of identifying our forces as NATO troops. There are only two countries really doing anything in Afghanistan, the US and Great Britain. And the US is doing the largest part.Describing our casualties as NATO is nothing more than spin to try to hide from the American public the reality that it is mostly Americans dying there. Dammit,the least these brave Americans deserve after giving their lives in service to our country is for their leaders to acknowledge that they were Americans. Again, NATO my ass.)

    French Canadian…This is the article I tried to post on the other site…

  14. Hey, after you wake up from the snooze-fest on October 3, watch THIS on October 6:

    ====O’Reilly, Stewart to debate on presidential race

    NEW YORK (AP) — Pick your pundit when Bill O’Reilly and Jon Stewart face off for a special 90-minute debate about the 2012 presidential race.

    The host of Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor” and the anchor of Comedy Central’s fake newscast “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” have announced they will clash in the event, dubbed “The Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium.”

    This live debate will be streamed online on Oct. 6 from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. The price is $4.95, with one-half of the profits donated to a number of unspecified charities.

    In a statement, Stewart quipped that “The Rumble” will be entertaining for all, including “people who just enjoy yelling.”

    It’s why Al Gore invented the Internet, the announcement added.

  15. Gary Johnson and Jill Stein need to be included in the debates. They have trouble getting to 15% because the Media does not cover them. They are on enough ballots to win and people need to know about them rather than relying on the news media.

    “they must invite every candidate who has a mathematical chance of winning the presidential election.”

    • Write in Ron Paul for 2012 President is online!

      Vote and spread it like wildfire!

      http://writeinron2012.com/writeinBlog/about-us/

      —————————————————–

      A vote on principles is much better than a No Vote — and a trillion times better than voting for what one perceives as the “lesser of two evils”!

      My take:

      This election has been reduced again to voting for the “lesser of two evils” (but which one is the “lesser”?).
      ——————————————————-

      All indicators point that Rmoney is the CHOSEN ONE by the NY and London Banks (the International Banksters that control the Federal Reserve) and by Israel.

      Since their goals are directly opposite to the well-being of our Nation, by deduction this Bought-And-Paid-For-Mitt-Mutton-Puppet MUST NOT win!

      [[Should Rmoney win — expect the US to start an all out war against Iran to protect Israel from a possible single atomic bomb being developed in…10 years from now…? (certainly not to protect the US from such silly and nonthreatening remote eventuality) within a week of this creature taking office.

      What’s even more worrisome, is this Creature’s Control of the GOP (forcing a fraudulent “Aye” vote at the RNC convention), thus assuring It won’t be opposed to win a 2nd term!

      Eight years of Mutton-Mitt will mean a COMPLETE AND TOTAL DESTRUCTION OF THE USA — when wars will be started at a drop of an Israeli Hat (sorry, meant to say: yamaka), when the US Constitution will become null-and-void, when the US Dollar will finally become utterly worthless, by a phone call from his Banker Masters (who’ll call in their chips).]]
      ———————————————————-

      On the other-hand — the BO Creature will have 4 more years to further plunge us into Socialism and suck us dry through more taxation and further devaluation of the US Dollar and the attempted destruction of our Constitutional Rights.

      This creature will, however, be hampered by some republican wins in both Houses, thus having most of its venomous teeth pulled during its 2nd term.

      [[However, should the BO see itself not as a clear winner, it will assure its reelection by attacking Iran with two weeks to go (mid-to-late October) — since a “patriotic” War always guarantees the “Commander-and-Chief” a sure win!]]
      ——————————————————

      Conclusion:

      Either subhuman will get us into never ending wars and ever closer to loss of All Liberty, All Prosperity and the eventual Total End of Our Nation as Free People!

      For which “lesser evil” will you vote, now?
      ——————————————————

      I, for one (and my family and friends) will not be party to such infamy! If either of these Horrible Creatures wins, at least we’ll have a clear conscience that we did not compromise our principles by acknowledging their existence in the voting booths!

      We will vote our Conscience — Writing In Dr. Ron Paul!

    • I sent them this comment:

      Why is Gary Johnson, a two-term governor who is on enough state ballots to win the presidential election, being excluded from your debates?

      I understand that you have an arbitrary 15 percent pre-debate polling criterion for inclusion, but how are poll respondents supposed to make an informed decision before they hear from the candidates?

      Wouldn’t a more rational inclusion criterion be qualifying on enough state ballots to win a majority in the Electoral College?

  16. You have the behavior you have from elected officials because of the system we use to elect them. You will have the behavior so long as you have the system. If you want to change the behavior then you have to change the system first. Focus on the changes that will enable people to vote for third parties without the political blackmail of the spoiler scenario. This is what is discussed on my web site and on my facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/TheCenterStrikesBack. The changes are easy to understand, but implementing them is not.

  17. Why bother? They would need electoral votes.
    Have we not learned anything from Ross Perot?
    Take away the electoral college and he would have had a real chance.

  18. Absolutely, allowing third party candidates who have obtained some percentage of states’ balloting will allow more perspective than currently exists in the too-specific national party platforms which push out alt views. We do not all hew closely to all party perspectives of the Republican and Democratic convention, and the election is for all Americans, not the most vetted party faithful who attend conventions…. the Libertarian and Greens party candidates, for ex, bring valuable perspective which would enrich the election, regardless of whether they win. Having other serious candidates would provide fresh ideas, and enrich our democratic republican processes. (I said “serious”, as in my State the folly of non-serious candidates was manifest in debates for State office in past few years. One stated as much, he had filed to see if he could, another just deferred to the view of and ultimately endorsed one of the major party candidates. Yet another had a VERY well researched perspective and while that individual did not win, it certainly brought attention to areas not otherwise so illuminated.) I had been registered in a particular party for most of my adult life, am a “SuperVoter” who does not want to miss an election/

  19. As a longtime Libertarian voter, I have long been disappointed by the quadrennial debate snubs. But when the LP is nominating self-made financial authors and computer programmers, I can understand why the TV networks dismiss their chances.

    But in 2012, the LP nominee is Gary Johnson, a successful two-term governor and businessman who has arguably a better record in office than either Romney (now) or Obama (four years ago). Where is the justification, other than from opinion polls? And how can those be considered fair before 99 percent of the population have heard from Johnson?

  20. Yes,allow third party candidates to be in the debate. They are on the ballot in enough states to win, then let them debate, that’s democracy, isn’t it?

    Ron Paul could probably have gotten %15 if he had his own millions to spend. Ross Perot spent $63 million of his own money in 1992. Mitt Romney spent $42 million of his own money in 2008 before suspending his campaign. Is that what we have become? An oligarchy? We laugh at the oligarchs in Russia, but we are a pseudo-oligarchy operating under the guise of “representative democracy”.

    To illustrate the corrosion the two parties have waged on our democracy, why is it that my freshman Congressman has less power than some party apparatchnik who has been there for 30 years? Why aren’t the committee chairmanships on a rotating schedule? Is that democracy that one Congressman has more power than the other due to seniority? Why should I be penalized for kicking the incumbent out of office?

    We’d be better off going to more national referendums on big issues than relying on our gerrymandered (over and over) “representatives” of our pseudo-democracy.

  21. Yes. Let Gary Johnson and Jill Stein debate. Let there be a debate without all the rules that prevent it from actually being a debate as well. 🙂

  22. As a voter, I need to see options other than the two that have been shoved down my throat. Let Gary Johnson and Jill Stein debate! At this point, what have we got to lose? It has become clear that the democratic and republican parties “do not play well with others”, so, let’s see what else our great country has to offer.

  23. I believe the American people deserve the opportunity to hear all of the presidential candidates during the debates and not just the views of the Democratic and Republican nominees! This is America and everyone should be given an equal opportunity to voice their intentions. There have been far too many choices for the position of whom most never had an equal opportunity to be heard or even mentioned at the polls. They should, at the least, list all of the candidates on the ballots allowing the voters an equal opportunity as to whom they wish to cast their vote in favor of.

  24. I agree. All candidates with ballot access should be in the national debates. On this web site on the list of candidates there is no mention of Jill Stein, she 86% ballot access yet alot of people dont even know she is running, there is something very crooked and wrong happening here in the US.

  25. I don’t understand how there can be a presidential debate without including all the people who are running for president. I would love to hear more from Gary Johnson and don’t think it it fair that he not be included.

  26. Imagine suing to keep contenders off the ballot. Shows how much confidence they have in their campaign. Let Gary Johnson speak! I want to hear what he has to say! It is time to get big money out of our White House. Governing the United States is supposed to be public service not a road to riches and power. We as a people cannot thrive when the people have no more say. The big money has squelched the good guy. No more Pac money, no more unfair advantage, if you have a good plan we should be able to hear and vote on it.

  27. At the Obamney rate of spending… Do we really need 4 more years of this nonsense!!! I really like Paul’s views for this country right now. I don’t like Johnson’s as much, but they are close. I guess that’s why Paul stands out so much, is how he defended the American people throughout his career and standing up for us against Congress. I do know write-in votes will not be counted in all states, so more choices is gem. If campaign money was capped for each candidate, I can’t imagine how much fairer it would be. If we didn’t have all these parties and just selected candidates, how much fairer and better for our country that would be…. No more choosing the richest Democrat or richest Republican.
    Jill Stein? I’ll look her up what is her website? Thanks

  28. I find the amount of money being spent by both candidates on this campaign repugnant and the ads aired useless and more of the same. I’ve tuned them out long ago. Over the last four years I have lost heart in the democratic process as well as the democratic party. The following contribute to my disenchantment:

    1. There are more than two candidates running for president who are not being given the opportunity to debate. (The same thing happened to Dennis Kucinich 4 years ago in Las Vegas. It was NBC/MSNBC who decided who would debate in one of the final Democratic debates. I say YES, open the debates to all third party candidates. Even if they don’t win, they bring life and new ideas to the table, give the democratic and republican hopefuls a run for their money, and the electorate alternatives.
    2. The electoral system is broken and corrupt and like nearly every other corporate and governmental body, is driven by greed. The big 3 networks are the real winners. (The French have a system worth looking at – no campaign funds required.)
    3. The obscene amount of money contributed by corporations and CEOs to elect their favorite candidates should be turned over to the American people for the losses they’ve incurred over the last five years at the hands of the same.
    4. The difference between the democratic and republican party become more and more negligible every year. The two parties leave the people with little choice. Again, YES, open the debates up to third party candidates.

  29. Expanded Debate available on Democracy Now!
    Democracy Now! http://www.democracynow.org/ Democracy Now! on Wednesday 3 October 2012 at 8:30pm EST, will host a special expanded presidential debate. They will pause after questions to President Obama and Mitt Romney, to include equal time responses from presidential candidates Jill Stein of the Green Party and Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party.
    Not as useful as having a third party candidate at the podiums with Obama and Romney, but should be interesting nevertheless.

  30. As a young American voter, I feel that I am hearing more and more of my peers comment that they do not want to vote for either Romney or Obama. With that said, many of them believe that the two are their only options. Most Americans do not realize that the country is not only made of two political halves. My opinion is that if the underdog candidates were able to join the debates, we would see a drastic change in polls and in American spirit. I feel that we are being cheated out of a choice. The media is trying to glaze over Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, (not to mention the others), and it’s time we took the wool from our eyes. It is time to bring Gary and Jill into the debates. I’m ready to feel pride in my country again.

  31. Let’s see.. Republican party, Democratic party, Green party, Libertarian party, Independent party, Constitution party, America first party, Christian Liberty party, Freedom Socialist party, United States Pirate party, Socialist party USA, Socialist Workers party, Independence Party of America etc. etc.

    Seriously people, I sit behind people at McDonalds for what seems like days because they can’t choose which value meal. Do you think they could choose a President when you have 10 or twenty people babbling on a stage about what they are going to do?

    • Why don’t we just give them one choice then? That would make things go even faster. Oh wait…we already do. But seriously, imagine pulling up to the McDonald’s drive through and all you could order was a Big Mac Combo. The world would be a better place! Paradise even! Carry on.

  32. I don’t really have a big problem with more people debating, but I think there should be a way to narrow down the field to two people before the final vote. If we had four people running then someone could get elected with just 26% of the vote. That could be disastrous. A President 74% of the people don’t want.

    • David: On another thread here, we decided that anyone who can get on enough state ballots to possibly win 270 electoral votes SHOULD be included in the debates. I think that would only include Libertarian, maybe Green

  33. There is another candidate who can win this election. Jill Reed, she is running as an independent with Tom Cary as her Vice President. The American people need to hear her plan to bring our country out of bankruptcy. If Jill Reed/Tom Cary are on the ballot in your state or your state allows write-in- votes, cast your vote for Jill Reed/Tom Cary .

    • Beverly:

      I’ll check. I know that the GOP filed a lawsuit to keep Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, off the ballot in Michigan.

    • I just checked her out as well. She is amazing! A little hard to get to know, but once you do, she’s is definitely a good candidate. Not electable, but still deserves to win.

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