Outside Looking In

I am pretty new to Twitter.  I am not a technophile by any stretch of the imagination, but I do enjoy the fact that I can get instant political information online through social media outlets like Twitter or Facebook.  I try to keep up with what the major two Presidential candidates, President Barack Obama (D) and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R) are doing on the campaign trail.  I also keep up with some third party candidates are saying while on the campaign trail.  Among those candidates are former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson (Libertarian), former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson (Justice), former Virginia Congressman Virgil Goode (Constitution) and Dr. Jill Stein (Green).  Recently, I noticed that many of their “tweets” consisted of their pleas for entry into next October’s Presidential debates.  Obama and Romney will be attendance.  At the time of this writing, however, those three previously named third party candidates will be left out.  Despite the fact that all three candidates will be on enough state ballots, as an official candidate or “write-in” candidate, to achieve an Electoral College majority, the Commission on Presidential Debates has a criterion that has excluded third party candidates from the debates since Ross Perot was invited in 1992.  In order to be invited to a Presidential debate, a candidate must have a composite average of 15% of popular support from nationally administered polls. Johnson, Anderson, Goode, and Stein fail to meet that requirement.   One problem with the requirement is that most national polling companies do not include those candidates as a choice in their polls.  Another problem is how subjective the 15% requirement is.  Why not 5% as a requirement?  How about 1%?  What about ballot access requirements as a criterion?  If you are not included in a poll as a choice, then how can a candidate receive any show of public support, let alone 15%? For now, Johnson, Anderson, Goode, and Stein will have to wait for that invitation to the debates.  In the meantime, the two-man show continues on while other opinions and debates are left out.

What are your thoughts on this subject?  Would you allow other candidates to the debates?  What criteria would you create as requirements for entry into the debates?

When this blog was created, I asked you which of these candidates do you believe should be added to the Presidential debates.  You can still vote in that poll on the blog.

By the way, for more insight into this topic and others covered on this blog, follow me on Twitter @schreckphd.

One response to “Outside Looking In

  1. 1% backing has the potential of having nearly 100 candidates. This could turn the debates into a month long process just to hear from everyone. It would seem fundamental to me to have these potential candidates put on the polls, so they may gain support. The fact they are not allowed on shows that there is a problem with the system. Additionally, you should not need millions of dollars (in campaign money) to become a serious contender for president of the United States. I am constantly appalled at the money wasted by politicians, it is just sad.

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