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Allowing Third Parties in Debates


Free Spirit
Staff member
I do wish there was another party participating in the debates. Even if they don't stand a chance in winning it would broaden the discussion and possibly give us a better perspective of the two major candidates. They might be forced to discuss issues they wouldn't bring up otherwise. What do you think about this?

The presidential and vice presidential debates are sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates, a nonprofit corporation that mandates that a candidate have at least 15 percent support in national polls to participate. Since the CPD took over running the debates in 1988, only once has a third party candidate been allowed to participate: In 1992, when Ross Perot joined Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush on the debate stage.

Do the debates unfairly shut out third parties?


Registered Member
15% may be a bit unfair, but it makes sense to have a restriction like that. From what I've heard (which isn't much), a large part of why Gary Johnson is suing isn't so much because of the 15% required to debate, but the fact that he was left off many of the polls entirely. It's hard to get any % when you're not on the polls.