Although most voters have their eyes focused on either Mitt Romney or Barack Obama as the Presidential Election begins to reach a boiling point, the impact of third party candidates cannot be marginalized in such a close race.
While it is inevitable that either Romney or Obama will be President come Inauguration Day, it has often been said both both candidates themselves that this election is about a philosophical choice of ideals which America will follow into her future. Given this logic it only makes sense that the venue of ideas in opened wider than ever.
Emphasizing an exchange of wide scopes of political philosophy will be a debate featuring four third party candidates Oct 23. Those who wish to keep the National Debates closed and skewed toward a bipartisan agenda need not worry about these four facing off against Romney and Obama. Instead they will be debating each other.
The debate is effectively scheduled for the day after the last debate between Romney and Obama. On the third party debate stage will be Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode, Green Party candidate Jill Stein, and Justice Party candidate Rock Anderson.
Organized by the nonprofit organization Free and Equal Elections Foundation, the debate will held in Chicago.
Former New Mexico Governor and 2012 GOP Presidential candidate Gary Johnson, who is currently polling as high as ten percent in a swings like Ohio and Colorado and is on the ballot in at least 47 states, has been excluded from that National Debates because he hasn’t meet a 15 percent threshold. The threshold was established after Ross Perot garnished almost 19 percent of the vote while only polling at 6 percent before he entered the debates with George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton in the 1992 election.
Economically conservative and socially liberal, Johnson is pulling hard from both the Republican and Democrat bases. Additionally, many Ron Paul supporters who feel disenfranchised by Romney have turned to Johnson as the torchbearer of the liberty movement.
Further expected to have an impact on the General Election is Virgil Goode. A former statesman, Goode is polling as high as 9 percent, largely from the Republican base, in his home state of Virginia. Won by Obama in 2008, Virginia is usually marked as a must win state for Romney if he hopes to secure the presidency.
However, neither Stein nor Anderson should be written off either.
Stein, who pulls higher from the Democrat base, is in many ways filling the shoes of Ralph Nader, who earned the term “spoiler” to Al Gore during the 2000 Presidential Election.
Then there is Rocky Anderson, whose liberal leanings will most likely hurt Obama when it comes to Human Rights and Environmental activists.
Despite the effect each of these four candidates will have on the outcome between Romney and Obama, the end results may be seen more so in the long run as major issues such as abolishing the Federal Reserve, the National Defense Authorization Act, the use of drones, and Real ID laws will actually be discussed instead of being largely ignored on the National stage.
The debate will be broadcast online at www.freeandequal.org.
By Joe King