A third-party candidate might get to join the general election debates

Presidential debate illustration.

In 1992, independent candidate Ross Perot became the only third-party contender to ever make it on stage in the general election presidential debates — but that could change in 2016. A forthcoming interview with the co-chairs of the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) reveals that the organization anticipates a potential third-party debater this cycle.

"The dynamic in the electorate right now and the dissatisfaction with the two major political parties could very conceivably allow an independent or a third-party candidate to emerge," said co-chair Michael McCurry, "and we are very clear that they would be welcome in these debates." His fellow co-chair, Frank Fahrenkopf Jr., agreed, noting that such a candidate would have to hit 15 percent support nationally to be included, an almost impossible goal for independent candidates before having the exposure of the debates.

The CPD was founded by the Republican and Democratic National Committees. Before 1988, the debates were run by the League of Women Voters, which withdrew participation that year, arguing that the major parties "aim to add debates to their list of campaign-trail charades devoid of substance, spontaneity and honest answers to tough questions."

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us