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2012 Application of Criteria - Second Presidential Debate

Oct 12, 2012



President Obama and Governor Romney

invited to CPD's debates


Washington, D.C. (October 12, 2012) - The non-partisan, non-profit Commission on Presidential Debates ("CPD") announced today that it has applied its Nonpartisan Candidate Selection Criteria for 2012 General Election Debate participation to determine eligibility to participate in the presidential debate to take place at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York on October 16.

Pursuant to the criteria, which were publicly announced on October 31, 2011, 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, President Barack Obama and Governor Romney were found to have satisfied all three criteria. No other candidates satisfied the criteria for inclusion in the October 16 debate.

The CPD has successfully sponsored the presidential and vice presidential general election debates since 1988. The CPD's planning for the 2012 debates has extended over a period of years and has drawn upon the CPD's now-extensive experience in sponsoring general election debates. On October 31, 2011, the CPD announced the four dates and locations for this year's debates, and on August 13, 2012, the CPD announced the four journalists who will moderate those debates: Jim Lehrer, Martha Raddatz, Candy Crowley and Bob Schieffer. The CPD is firmly committed to providing, in a professional and nonpartisan manner, debates in 2012 that will allow the American public to view the leading presidential and vice presidential candidates discuss the issues facing the country.

The candidates who have qualified to participate today previously have committed to participate in the debates sponsored by the CPD.


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