Open Debates

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What is the CDP? Corporate Sponsorship of the Debates Exclusion of Popular Candidates -What Happened in 1988?
-What Happened in 1992?
-What Happened in 1996?
-What Happened in 2000?
-What Happened in 2004?

-What Happened in 2008?

-What Happened in 2012?
-15 Percent Barrier
Dreary Formats Lies and Deception Open Debates' Victories

What Happened in 2004?

In 2004, four third-party candidates were on enough state ballots to win an Electoral College majority: Michael Badnarik of the Libertarian Party; David Cobb of the Green Party; Michael Peroutka of the Constitution Party; and independent candidate Ralph Nader.

Open Debates commissioned a Zogby poll of likely voters to determine which candidates the American people wanted to see included in the 2004 presidential debates. The poll found that 40 percent of likely voters wanted to see presidential debates that only included Democratic nominee John Kerry and Republican nominee George W. Bush, whereas 57 percent of likely voters wanted to see “other candidates” included.  Of the four third-party candidates on enough state ballots to win the election, only independent candidate Ralph Nader attracted support for his inclusion in the debates from a majority of likely voters. Fifty-seven percent of likely voters believed that Nader “should participate” in the upcoming presidential debates with Kerry and Bush. 

Nonetheless, all third-party and independent candidates were excluded from the 2004 presidential debates.  Both John Kerry and George W. Bush opposed the inclusion of other candidates, and the CPD employed the restrictive 15 percent criterion to justify the exclusion of all third-party challengers.