Again and Again…

Did you know that there is something called, “The Commission on Presidential Debates”?  Did you also know that this Commission determines which Presidential candidates get to debate each other before the general election.  More over, 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.   One problem with the requirement is that most national polling companies do not include any third party 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%?

What are your thoughts?

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15 responses to “Again and Again…

  1. I believe it is just another example of the two main political parties getting an unfair advantage. obviously a 3rd party candidate will not be able to get 15% of the vote because they don’t have the money to advertise like a republican or democrat has. most voters would never even take the time to try to learn about a 3rd party candidate because the voter is lazy. plus, everybody knows that a 3rd party candidate will never even come close to winning, so why bother?3rd party candidates are also at a disadvantage because of the sense of unfamiliarity with a smaller party. voters are hesitant to hands over the keys to the government to someone they’ve never even heard of.

  2. I don’t think there should be any percentage put out there. How about the best candidates according to the Commission at the time get selected to debate. If the polls that they use for the percentages don’t let you pick between a republican, democrat or independent or whoever else is running, then it really isn’t fair to put the percentage out there. There hasn’t been a third party candidate that has come close to ever winning, but it puts there perspective out there on how the government should run. Let their voice be heard. The third party would be lucky to get a 5% vote in the polls anyway. I think the ballot access requirement would be a good way to place the candidates on the Commission Debates. Then the percentages wouldn’t matter anyway.

  3. I find it incredibly unfair that 3rd party candidates aren’t allowed to participate. That certainly doesn’t allow for a fair chance. Also, if the percentage doesn’t allow for those independent runners, then there really isn’t any point to have the percentage. It’s also incredibly rude and unfair that they aren’t allowed any boostings/ratings for a debate. It’s no wonder why third parties are never elected. Pathetic and sad.

  4. The are unable to gain full support. Plus it is very unfair that they can’t be apart of it. Also, what can people gain from those kind of polls? So those kind of polls don’t truly tell us a whole lot of anything in the whole grand outlook of things.

  5. 15% is too high especially if the candidate isn’t receiving any sort of advertisement to help their campaign. People tend to not even worry about a third candidate because they just look at the first two people in the lead. It makes it unfair for the third candidate to be excluded because they might have good intentions and brilliant ideas that the country needs.

  6. It’s very unfair for third parties, what makes them different from the other parties? How can they advertise when they’re not allowed to participate. Once again it all revolves around money, the more money they have the more they can advertise.

  7. Obviously this is a good strategy to keep any third party candidates on the losing side, and out of the publics eye. Also, needing to receive 15% of support on a national poll is very unreasonable and unnecessary because as we class national polls are bias in the people they chose to poll. And the information given is not a very reliable reference to look at when trying to predict the outcome of the race. #PSC110

  8. First of all, I think this “The Commission on Presidential Debates” is very unfair to the third party, because, the third party is not sufficient strength to get the so-called 15% votes. At the same time, many voters were not really care about who is the third party instead of the Democratic Party and the Republican Party.Voting belong to a public opinion survey opportunities, but voters don’t doctrine has not become a subsequent party, because a lot of voters have lost their party’s position.In generally, the third party will never be elected, so the debate whether they are eligible to participate in the presidential debate is meaningless.

  9. I believe that the popularity requirement to be invited to the presidential debate should be lowered. Not only is it unfair to third party candidates, but also to voters who can’t listen in to those other possible candidates. There’s always voters who vote even if they dont favor either candidate. The possibility of influencing voters to vote for the third party is huge. It can change elections entirely, and our country’s future. If they don’t lower the 15% requirement then polling companies should at the very least start including the third party as an option.

  10. Monica Garcia

    I don’t think the election should be based on only two major parties. I don’t mean to say that our elections have not been fair or it’s never who the people want to win but honestly, that’s probably one of the reasons why people don’t vote or aren’t involved in political issues because they feel like it never ends up being the way they want it to be. Basing the discussion on how the two major candidates are elected by doing polls, is just inaccurate because of all the issues there are with polling. I just think it’s unfair for those third parties and if the government doesn’t see that. All they see is who has more money to offer to people. it all comes down to money.

  11. Third party candidates generally don’t have enough funding to advertise themselves, thus they can’t get people to know about them. And, if people don’t know about them how are they suppose to pick them in a poll. Also, having 15% is way too high for people that are in a third party, they should be given a fair chance like everyone else. #PSC110

  12. I think that is a good idea that smaller third parties are sometimes excluded because too many people debating would get confusing. The reason people are debating is because they are who the country wants at the moment so it makes more sense that their opinions are heard & elaborated on. If they allow all the smaller third parties male people decisions harder because of all the swaying opinions of all the parties.

  13. Ricky Mrkacek

    It might be interesting to see the bar lowered a bit to maybe 5% just so we can occasionally shake things up by having a sure loser around to point out the flaws in both of the main candidates. Honestly, though, I understand why it is high enough to keep those people out. If you don’t have at least 40% support (likely more) by the time these debates roll around your chances of winning the election are essentially 0. The majority of the populace has already made up their mind on who they are voting for and aren’t likely to change it. Swing voters make up enough of the population that if you are losing by about 5 points in the polls you just might be able to inch ahead with some great debate performances. You will not, however, pick up 40% of the country in that time. So it’s understandable why they might not want to deal with the distraction.

    The main complaint here seems to be that the dominance of two political parties, one of them left-leaning and the other one right is inherently bad, I seem to be the only one left in the country who prefers the 2-party system to the alternative. In Canada, where they do not have this system, Stephen Harper of the Conservative Party have been Prime Minister for almost a decade. The Conservative Party is, predictably, somewhat right-wing. It seems, in fact, to be the only electable right-wing party in the bunch. In contrast, there are a number of left-leaning parties that are viewed as rather sensible but they don’t perform very well on election day because they are stealing each others votes. Two people who are 90% in agreement with each other often vote for 2 different candidates over minor details. The result is that, while Canadians themselves tend to be somewhat liberal they have been stuck with a conservative Prime Minister since 2006. A Prime Minister who, in his 4 national elections has never even won 40% of the vote let alone 50.
    I don’t want that here.

  14. Melissa Bender

    I think that 15% is way to high of a percentage for third parties to get. I can see maybe a maximum of 5%. They just want to narrow it down which is understandable because it could be close to impossible to get. I agree with other peoples comments, where it all comes down to money. Money should not determine a candidate though. There should be other ways to get your name out there, not paying your way to the top.

  15. i for one think that the percentage is too high if the candidate has not help in advertisement when running thier campagin. People do not reall care about a third candidate. In my opinion people look at the top two canidates and make thier choice based on there stand ( Democrate or Republican). I also feel that some people do not reall care on who gets voted into office and choose the canidate based on what others or the media is saying about them. It makes it unfair for the third candidate to be seen as useless when they might have good or better intentions then the other running canidates who get voted into office

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