The Commission on Presidential Debates was set up in 1987 as a private, nonprofit corporation to "organize, manage, produce, publicize and support debates for the candidates for president of the United States."
Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein have filed a federal antitrust lawsuit against the CPD, calling it an illegal monopoly. They're challenging the rules that require candidates to reach 15 percent in five national polls in order to be included in the debates and also prohibit major-party candidates from debating in any forum not sponsored by the CPD.
Should presidential debates be controlled by one organization? Should credible third-party candidates be included in the debates to give Americans a wider range of viewpoints to chew over and choose among? It's a question being asked by many this year in light of the unprecedented, sky-high unfavorability ratings for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
The CPD announced Monday the five polls that will be averaged to determine who has 15 percent support nationwide: ABC-Washington Post, CBS-New York Times, CNN-ORC, Fox News and NBC-Wall Street Journal. The first debate is scheduled for Sept. 26.
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