Passing along some important information. Make your voice heard if you don’t approve of this folks! Especially after McCain’s disappointments Wednesday at CBS. I don’t think he’s in much of a hurry to go anywhere that important.
And so on that note, many people including myself are upset to see that none of the independent party candidates are going to be present at these debates. Looking into this a little bit, I saw what the requirements were for participation in these debates (my own bolding below):
Pursuant to the criteria, which were publicly announced on November 19, 2007, those candidates qualify for debate participation who (1) are constitutionally eligible to hold the office of President of the United States; (2) have achieved ballot access in a sufficient number of states to win a theoretical Electoral College majority in the general election; and (3) have demonstrated a level of support of at least 15 percent of the national electorate, as determined by five selected national public opinion polling organizations, using the average of those organizations’ most recent publicly-reported results.
The Board of Directors of the CPD convened today to apply the criteria with the assistance of the Editor-In-Chief of the Gallup Polling Organization, Dr. Frank Newport. Of the declared candidates, Senators Barack Obama and John McCain were found to have satisfied all three criteria Accordingly, Senator Obama and his running mate, Senator Joe Biden, and Senator John McCain and his running mate, Governor Sarah Palin, qualify to participate in the September 26 presidential debate and the Oct. 2 vice-presidential debate, respectively. No other candidates satisfied the criteria for inclusion in the September 26 and Oct. 2 debates.
Fifteen percent of the national electorate seems like a rather high number considering the partisan spreads in the elections. I personally feel this number should be lower (say perhaps 7-10% range) so that way these debates can be broached with more thinking outside of partisan alignments. Granted, that’s the way the debates should already be, but I feel that with the way this election campaigning has gone so far, the questions will be answered in order to polarize their respective parties as best they can (at least for the Republicans at a minimum) and not really be a genuine reflection upon the candidate’s true thoughts and feelings on the issue.
Next election, I’m going to try to make a mental note to see if there is any way the public can influence these requirements set forth by the Commission on Presidential Debates.