Who Won the Third Party Debate?
Tonight four of the top third party candidates debated in Chicago, hosted by the folks over at Free and Equal Elections. It was refreshing to see new faces debating the issues. It was also nice to see candidates who actually disagreed with each other but also were respectful toward each other.
However, let’s face it – there’s a reason why some of they guys have not found in a place in the two major parties and why they have received so little public support. It seemed as though much of this debate was spent on the issue of drug legalization. While they site polls showing a majority of Americans are for it, there just simply is not a majority of Americans who care enough about it to make a viable issue that will change minds. For the record, Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode was the only one on the stage not for legalization.
Larry King may like moderating discussions, but its time for him to say goodbye. He actually forgot to give the candidates time for an opening statement (then giving it to them later, after the questing had begun) and clearly had not done his homework as he kept asking candidate for some basic information about themselves.
Ok, so which candidate won? It’s hard to say because none of the candidates actually attacked each other. Imagine that. The candidates simply stuck to
their own messages instead of trying to come up with the best one-liner… But, I think there was a clear ranking of the candidates based on their performances. I will list there below:
First Place – Gary Johnson. Though I disagree with him on social issues, Governor Johnson was clearly the stand-out candidate of the evening. He was clear, professional, in command of the facts and sounded just like a pro. He received the largest applause lines of the evening. His answers on education were excellent.
Second Place – Jill Stein. I probably disagreed with maybe 90% of what she said, but she came off looking professional. She represented her party very well and gave a clear and reasoned argument.
Third Place – Virgil Goode. This was disappointing to me. I love the Constitution Party. I was once a member and even ran for Congress under their banner. I even had the chance to meet Congressman Goode this morning as I welcomed him to speak to my students. However, Congressman Goode was just not on his game. Though I agreed with 90% of what believes, he was not convincing. He didn’t change anyone’s mind and I think he knew. He kept repeating the fact that no one likes what he is saying. This is not good. This is nothing to be proud of. I love his commitment to the life issue, but needs to bring people on his side, not to be just combative.
Fourth Place – Rocky Anderson. Ok, this guy just sounded nuts to me. He came off as a radical left-wing radical.
Well, as I wrap this up, here are my live tweets through the night.
“A wasted vote is voting for someone you don’t believe in.” – @GovGaryJohnson #debates
@VirgilGoode wants a Constitution amendment implementing term limits. I understand his concerns, but I want freedom in my voting! #debates
“Shamelessly pitching myself here.” – @GovGaryJohnson @debates
I think half the people on this stage have no idea that we are 16 trillion in debt. #debates
@GovGaryJohnson – “Free comes with a price.” He is killing on this question. #debates
I think @VirgilGoode likes saying how much he thinks people don’t like what he has to say. That’s not a winning campaign strategy. #debates
At least the candidates in this debate are respectful towards each other while offering very real differences on policy. #debates
Jill Stein wants the government to pay for all students to go to college. Sure, we have tons of money. Really? Really? #debates
@GovGaryJohnson was exactly correct when it comes to why college is expensive! Government loans bring prices up not down. #debates
I’m thankful at least on guy on this stage is focused one something other than marijuana – @VirgilGoode #debates
Wondering why some of these 3rd party folks are not mainstream – they focus on issues like drug legalization. Every1 else is focused on jobs
If you listen to @GovGaryJohnson, it seems like he’s most passionate about weed. It’s just not a winning issue despite the polls you quote.
Lots of boos in the audience when @VirgilGoode declared he would not fund planned parenthood. #debates
@VirgilGoode is not for drug legalization. #debates
I think @GovGaryJohnson is getting the loudest applause of all the candidates. #debates
@GovGaryJohnson used to believe homosexual marriage was a state issue but when he switched parties he switched views. #debates
@RockyAnderson is coming off as a little off kilter… #debates
Jill Stein of the Green Party is representing her party very well tonight. Professional yet passionate. #debates
So we do opening statements AFTER the first question? Larry King is losing it… #debates
In my twitter feed, its just @stufflebeamrc and I talking about the debate. Where are the @GovGaryJohnson fans?
@VirgilGoode wants to limit campaign financing to only individual contributions. Interesting. @debates
“I’ve always been pro-choice regarding everything.” – @GovGaryJohnson @debates
@VirgilGoode refuses to use federal legislation to overturn a state issue concerning top two ballots though he opposes it. #debates
“Independent, Democrat, Republican – Always conservative.” – @VirgilGoode #debates
The so-called “top two” ballot system is not even close to American, but its not a surprise none of these guys are for it.
I’m rooting for @VirgilGoode tonight! #debates
Third Party Debate ready to go!!! #debates