Free & Equal Presidential Debate Will Include Four Candidates

Free & Equal’s presidential debate, set for October 23 at the University Club of Chicago, will include four presidential candidates: Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, Virgil Goode, and Rocky Anderson. They are the only presidential candidates who have ever polled as much as 1% in any national neutral poll.


  1. Casual Bystander · · Reply

    This debate makes no sense to me. If nominees who have no theoretical chance to win in the Electoral College are invited why not everyone? This is as unfair as the “official” CPD sponsored debates. Two nominees with no theoretical chance are included and yet many others are not. The 1% nonsense is just as bogus as the 15% nonsense.

  2. Richard Winger · · Reply

    #1, all four candidates could theoretically be elected because Virgil Goode and Rocky Anderson have, or will have, write-in status in states that bring them over a majority of the electoral college vote. The Oct. 1 2012 printed Ballot Access News will have the write-in status for each candidate, although because some states have write-in filing deadlines in October, the list won’t be complete.

  3. Casual Bystander · · Reply

    Still a pretty weak argument in my opinion. When was the last time a write-in slate of electors was elected?

  4. J.D. FARGO · · Reply

    This is great news, will the debates be televisec?

  5. probably doesnt matter. What matters is that in any real race republicans win because they hold the house. That would be a great goal to at least start the control of the house be split up more by independents.

  6. Jeff Becker · · Reply

    “Casual”, This is the same lame argument I ran into when running for U.S. Senate and I was on the ballot. A local Tea Party was holding a “meet the candidates” event and I was not invited even though it was being held at the school where I teach. My campaign treasurer spoke with their organizer on a talk radio show and she said, on the air, “He was not invited because nobody has ever heard of him.” I kid you not – that that was her STOOPID quote. And then when I showed up, and only the Republican candidate was there, the Mountain (Green Party) candidate did not know anything about it and the Dem flat chickened out, they STILL would not let me speak!!

    Rocky Anderson and ANY OTHER minor (not “third” since R=D= tied for second) party candidate is more than welcome regardless of their poll numbers, IMHO.

  7. Casual Bystander · · Reply

    You missed my point… why not more inclusion?

  8. Timm Knibbs · · Reply

    “To have received an invitation to the Presidential debate on October 23rd, a candidate must meet one of two requirements. Either they must be on the ballot in enough states to be viably electable, or they must receive 1% or greater in a national poll.”
    To include every candidate that is on in one state would turn it into a circus. This is inclusive enough. Not including joke candidates like Hoefling is a good idea.

  9. It’s absurd that Rocky is included. He’s on the ballot in 12 states. Silly.

  10. Larry Allred · · Reply

    I’ll be looking for unity and thoughfulness on the issue two party dominance and electoral reforms. That show will be the whole show. They should all be clear on the difference between policy and process.

  11. Richard Winger · · Reply

    #9, he’s on in 15 states, with an outside chance to make it 16 states, if Mississippi will put him on.

  12. Will these debates be televised or streamed online? No one seems to want to answer that question, and I’m interested in watching it.

  13. Casual Bystander · · Reply

    “To include every candidate that is on in one state would turn it into a circus.”

    Now you sound like the CPD.

  14. @Casual Bystander I think the D and R if invited wouldn’t show up and since I am from West Virginia and seen how the third party candidates are treated I really don’t think the vast majority of undecideds are going to know about this debate unless they do a internet search for websites like Ballot Access News or other sites. I wish third party candidates got more coverage and respect but even for me no one knows I am around every those who would vote for a third party don’t know I am out there because the media focuses on the D and R. IMHO I am glad that someone is focusing on the other guys. I would also like to know if this will be on television or the web as it interests me greatly.

  15. @Mike,

    According to the original announcement, Free and Equal will announce web streaming plans closer to the debates. I am sure the announcement will make it here too.


    If you want more people to watch this, then make sure to tell everyone you know and ask them to share it as well. Word of mouth is still one of the powerful tools of any marketing campaign.

  16. Free & Equal…unless you weren’t able to overcome enough absurd ballot access laws for us to consider you relevant.

  17. Richard Winger · · Reply

    #16, putting on debates like these costs lots of money, and is very hard work. There could easily have been no debate at all. We should be glad that Christina Tobin has the energy and motivation to do what she is doing.

  18. awesome they let Rocky and Virgil in.. excellent!

  19. Is there anyway to get this on video and on tv? Even on public access in a big market like NY? If anyone is interested in helping out on this please email me at

    Visit my site please:

  20. I just hope they actually critique each other. I want it to really be a debate. None of that panel discussion style thing where they spend the whole time blasting Obama/Romney.

  21. @19 – the debate will be televised live on C-SPAN

  22. I remember Ron Paul and other Congress members proposed a ballot access bill for President, Senate and House elections. It went along something like this:

    – For President and Senate: all candidates must get a number of signatures equal to 0.1% of the voters in that election or 1,000 signatures, whichever is greater

    – For House: all candidates must get a number of signatures equal to 0.5% of the voters that voted in that election or 1,000 signatures

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