Voters Say Let Barr and Nader in on the Debates
For as long as I can remember, and that is a long time, the Presidential debates have been between the candidates of the two major parties. Third party candidates and independents have wanted to be included, but the Democrats and Republicans have seen to it that it did not happen. Except in 1980 when Robert Anderson, a former Republican who was running as an independent, took part in the first debate. However, Jimmy Carter refused to participate if Anderson was included, so the debate was just between Anderson and Ronald Regan.
The third party and independent candidates have tried to be included, but to no avail. The reasoning behind excluding them has been that it would take away from the discussion of the real issues between the candidates of the two major parties. This time around, according to the latest poll from Zogby, a majority of the voters want both Bob Barr and Ralph Nader to be included. This is not entirely surprising since there are more voters who say they are independent now than ever and Bob Barr is drawing about 4% in the polls, although he is not included in many of them either.
The poll shows that 55% of all voters, no matter what party they belong to want Libertarian candidate, Bob Barr to be included in the Presidential debates and 46% think Ralph Nader deserves a spot as well.
One would expect independents to want Bob Barr to be on stage and 69% of them said so. But the surprise comes with the Democrats, 52% and Republicans 50% who also want to hear from him. This only goes to show that the voters are not firmly behind the candidates of the two major parties and want to hear what the independents and third party candidates have to say.
As for Ralph Nader, 45% of all the votes what him to have his say and it breaks down to 59% of the independents, 41% of the Democrats and 42% of the Republicans. That is not a bad showing when you take into consideration that he has run in the past two elections and most of the voters are familiar with his beliefs.
The details get even more interesting when you dig deeper into the statistics. Breaking it down by gender, 60% of the men said yes as did 52% of the women when it came to Bob Barr and with Ralph Nader, it is 49% of the men and 45% of the women.
With the independent votes expected to play a big roll in the election this time around – and this is supported by the polls – it would be a good idea for both Barack Obama and John McCain to give the voters what they want and let the other candidates be heard.