This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal

Q: Should television networks use national polls to determine who participates in presidential debates?

DEMOCRATS (85 votes)

Yes: 45%No: 55%

Yes

"Polls should be a factor, but not the only one."

"In the absence of a better means of reducing numbers for a semblance of dialogue, yes. Though I'm supporting whatever gets [Donald] Trump front and center!"

"Lousy method, but can't think of a better one."

"No good way to do this, but you can't have 16 people on a stage."

"For one simple reason: Trump, Trump ... more Trump."

"They at least provide some semi-objective measure. Multiple polls should be considered—not just one."

Podiums for the debate between the four remaining Republican presidential candidates stand ready at the North Charleston Coliseum on January 19, 2012 in Charleston, South Carolina. (Getty Images)No

"Polls in June 2015 are BS, and I am a pollster. Split them up into two groupings for an hour apiece."

"Inclusion in debates is about to become a huge negative story for Republicans as good candidates like [John] Kasich get excluded for popularity-contest candidates."

"Hell no! National polls will produce a ridiculous debate spectacle, with serious candidates debating well-known political exhibitionists."

"Use a citizenship test of the Constitution or something else that can distinguish those looking for a TV gig versus a serious candidate."

"But we need something. Fifteen candidates isn't a debate, it's a frat party."

"They should use Iowa and NH polls."

"A competitive game of darts would be more accurate than the last cycle's polls."

"It's time for the networks to stop perpetuating the efforts of the two major parties to block new entrants from the political marketplace."

"Let everyone participate."

Q: Should television networks use national polls to determine who participates in presidential debates?

REPUBLICANS (83 VOTES)

Yes: 37%No: 63%

Yes

"Too many participants is just a program of serial sound bites."

"But only as one criterion, not the only one."

"Best available source in an imperfect world."

"If that's the rule, then you need to establish a credible standard. How else would you cull the field? 16 is too many, and the Donald Trumps of the race would love a Wrestlemania-style debate."

"The only worse ways to do it are all of the others."

No

"How about two consecutive nights for each debate, both nights with equal numbers of first-tier and second-tier candidates?"

"Absurd way to do it. The nomination contest is a series of state contests, not a national contest. Name ID does not make you competitive, regarding Trump."

"State polls are all that really matters when it comes to the early primaries which will dictate the election."

"Polling this far out is a joke. Let the candidates present themselves."

"Let's carry this to the logical conclusion and include Taylor Swift and LeBron James."

"The question is, who is really watching these debates anyway? Besides the insiders and journalists, anyone watching a debate in August of 2015 is a freak."

"No. But having said that, with a GOP field this large, what are the superior alternatives? Perhaps feats of strength, to precede an airing of grievances."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Democratic Political Insiders  Jill Alper, John Anzalone, Brad Bannon, Dave Beattie, Andy Bechhoefer, Cornell Belcher, Matt Bennett, Mitchell W. Berger, Mike Berman, Stephanie Bosh, Paul Brathwaite, Donna Brazile, Mark Brewer, Ed Bruley, George Bruno, Bonnie Campbell, Bill Carrick, Guy Cecil, Martin J. Chávez, Tony Coelho, Larry Cohen, Jerry Crawford, Brendan Daly, Jeff Danielson, Peter Daou, Howard Dean, Scott DeFife, Jim Demers, Tad Devine, David Di Martino, Debbie Dingell, Monica Dixon, Patrick Dorton, Pat Dujakovich, Anita Dunn, Jeff Eller, Steve Elmendorf, Carter Eskew, Vic Fazio, Peter Fenn, Scott Ferson, Jim Fleischmann, Tina Flournoy, Don Foley, Jeffrey Forbes, Vincent Frillici, Gina Glantz, Niles Godes, John Michael Gonzalez, Joe Grandmaison, Anna Greenberg, Stan Greenberg, Pat Griffin, Larry Grisolano, Michael Gronstal, Lisa Grove, Marcia Hale, Jill Hanauer, Dick Harpootlian, Paul Harstad, Laura Hartigan, Doug Hattaway, Mike Henry, Karen Hicks, Leo Hindery Jr., Harold Ickes, Marcus Jadotte, John Jameson, Steve Jarding, Jonathon Jones, Jim Jordan, Gale Kaufman, Lisa Kountoupes, Celinda Lake, David Lang, Penny Lee, Chris Lehane, Jeff Link, Bob Maloney, Jim Manley, Steve Marchand, Jim Margolis, Paul Maslin, Keith Mason, Susan McCue, Gerald McEntee, Steve McMahon, Tom McMahon, Phil McNamara, David Medina, Michael Meehan, Mark Mellman, John Merrigan, Michael Monroe, Steve Murphy, Janet Napolitano, David Nassar, Marcia Nichols, John Norris, Tom Ochs, Tom O'Donnell, Jeffrey Peck, Debora Pignatelli, Tony Podesta, Jefrey Pollock, Jack Quinn, Larry Rasky, Mame Reiley, Ed Rendell, Steve Ricchetti, Will Robinson, Steve Rosenthal, David Rudd, Ryan Rudominer, John Ryan, Michael Sargeant, Stephanie Schriock, Terry Shumaker, Sean Sinclair, Phil Singer, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Greg Speed, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, Doug Thornell, Jeffrey Trammell, Ed Turlington, Rick Wiener, James Williams, JoDee Winterhof, Brian Wolff, Jon Youngdahl, and Jim Zogby.

GOP Political Insiders  Dan Allen, Stan Anderson, Gary Andres, Saulius (Saul) Anuzis, Rich Ashooh, Whit Ayres, Brett Bader, Mitch Bainwol, Brian Baker, Gary Bauer, David Beckwith, Paul Bennecke, Clark Benson, Wayne Berman, Brian Bieron, Charlie Black, Kirk Blalock, Carmine Boal, Jeff Boeyink, Ron Bonjean, Jeff Buley, Luke Byars, Nick Calio, Al Cardenas, Danny Carroll, Alex Castellanos, Ron Christie, Jim Cicconi, Jonathan Collegio, Rob Collins, Cesar Conda, Jake Corman, Scott Cottington, Jay Cranford, Greg Crist, Diane Crookham-Johnson, Fergus Cullen, Tom Davis, Mike Dennehy, Ken Duberstein, Debi Durham, Sara Fagen, Frank Fahrenkopf, John Feehery, Don Fierce, Mindy Finn, Carl Forti, Alex Gage, Bruce A. Gates, Sam Geduldig, Adam Geller, Benjamin Ginsberg, David Girard-diCarlo, Bill Greener, Jonathan Grella, Lanny Griffith, Janet Mullins Grissom, Doug Gross, Todd Harris, Steve Hart, Christopher Healy, Ralph Hellmann, Chris Henick, Terry Holt, David Iannelli, Ed Ingle, Jim Innocenzi, Clark Judge, David Keating, David Kensinger, Bob Kjellander, Ed Kutler, Chris LaCivita, Jim Lake, Steven Law, Steve Lombardo, Kevin Madden, Joel Maiola, Gary Maloney, David Marin, Mary Matalin, Dan Mattoon, Brian McCormack, Mark McKinnon, Kyle McSlarrow, Ken Mehlman, Jim Merrill, Lisa Camooso Miller, Tim Morrison, Mike Murphy, Phil Musser, Ron Nehring, Terry Nelson, Neil Newhouse, David Norcross, Ziad Ojakli, Jack Oliver, Todd Olsen, Kevin O'Neill, Connie Partoyan, Billy Piper, Van B. Poole, Tom Rath, Scott Reed, David Rehr, Tom Reynolds, Steve Roberts, Jason Roe, David Roederer, Dan Schnur, Russ Schriefer, Rich Schwarm, Brent Seaborn, Rick Shelby, Andrew Shore, Kevin Shuvalov, Don Sipple, Ken Spain, Fred Steeper, Bob Stevenson, Terry Sullivan, David Tamasi, Eric Tanenblatt, Richard Temple, Heath Thompson, Jay Timmons, Warren Tompkins, Ted Van Der Meid, Dirk Van Dongen, Jan van Lohuizen, Stewart Verdery, Dick Wadhams, John Weaver, Lezlee Westine, Dave Winston, Ginny Wolfe, Fred Wszolek, and Matthew Zablud.

Q: Should television networks use national polls to determine who participates in presidential debates?

DEMOCRATS (85 votes)

Yes: 45%No: 55%

Yes

"Polls should be a factor, but not the only one."

"In the absence of a better means of reducing numbers for a semblance of dialogue, yes. Though I'm supporting whatever gets [Donald] Trump front and center!"

"Lousy method, but can't think of a better one."

"No good way to do this, but you can't have 16 people on a stage."

"For one simple reason: Trump, Trump ... more Trump."

"They at least provide some semi-objective measure. Multiple polls should be considered—not just one."

Podiums for the debate between the four remaining Republican presidential candidates stand ready at the North Charleston Coliseum on January 19, 2012 in Charleston, South Carolina. (Getty Images)No

"Polls in June 2015 are BS, and I am a pollster. Split them up into two groupings for an hour apiece."

"Inclusion in debates is about to become a huge negative story for Republicans as good candidates like [John] Kasich get excluded for popularity-contest candidates."

"Hell no! National polls will produce a ridiculous debate spectacle, with serious candidates debating well-known political exhibitionists."

"Use a citizenship test of the Constitution or something else that can distinguish those looking for a TV gig versus a serious candidate."

"But we need something. Fifteen candidates isn't a debate, it's a frat party."

"They should use Iowa and NH polls."

"A competitive game of darts would be more accurate than the last cycle's polls."

"It's time for the networks to stop perpetuating the efforts of the two major parties to block new entrants from the political marketplace."

"Let everyone participate."

Q: Should television networks use national polls to determine who participates in presidential debates?

REPUBLICANS (83 VOTES)

Yes: 37%No: 63%

Yes

"Too many participants is just a program of serial sound bites."

"But only as one criterion, not the only one."

"Best available source in an imperfect world."

"If that's the rule, then you need to establish a credible standard. How else would you cull the field? 16 is too many, and the Donald Trumps of the race would love a Wrestlemania-style debate."

"The only worse ways to do it are all of the others."

No

"How about two consecutive nights for each debate, both nights with equal numbers of first-tier and second-tier candidates?"

"Absurd way to do it. The nomination contest is a series of state contests, not a national contest. Name ID does not make you competitive, regarding Trump."

"State polls are all that really matters when it comes to the early primaries which will dictate the election."

"Polling this far out is a joke. Let the candidates present themselves."

"Let's carry this to the logical conclusion and include Taylor Swift and LeBron James."

"The question is, who is really watching these debates anyway? Besides the insiders and journalists, anyone watching a debate in August of 2015 is a freak."

"No. But having said that, with a GOP field this large, what are the superior alternatives? Perhaps feats of strength, to precede an airing of grievances."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Democratic Political Insiders  Jill Alper, John Anzalone, Brad Bannon, Dave Beattie, Andy Bechhoefer, Cornell Belcher, Matt Bennett, Mitchell W. Berger, Mike Berman, Stephanie Bosh, Paul Brathwaite, Donna Brazile, Mark Brewer, Ed Bruley, George Bruno, Bonnie Campbell, Bill Carrick, Guy Cecil, Martin J. Chávez, Tony Coelho, Larry Cohen, Jerry Crawford, Brendan Daly, Jeff Danielson, Peter Daou, Howard Dean, Scott DeFife, Jim Demers, Tad Devine, David Di Martino, Debbie Dingell, Monica Dixon, Patrick Dorton, Pat Dujakovich, Anita Dunn, Jeff Eller, Steve Elmendorf, Carter Eskew, Vic Fazio, Peter Fenn, Scott Ferson, Jim Fleischmann, Tina Flournoy, Don Foley, Jeffrey Forbes, Vincent Frillici, Gina Glantz, Niles Godes, John Michael Gonzalez, Joe Grandmaison, Anna Greenberg, Stan Greenberg, Pat Griffin, Larry Grisolano, Michael Gronstal, Lisa Grove, Marcia Hale, Jill Hanauer, Dick Harpootlian, Paul Harstad, Laura Hartigan, Doug Hattaway, Mike Henry, Karen Hicks, Leo Hindery Jr., Harold Ickes, Marcus Jadotte, John Jameson, Steve Jarding, Jonathon Jones, Jim Jordan, Gale Kaufman, Lisa Kountoupes, Celinda Lake, David Lang, Penny Lee, Chris Lehane, Jeff Link, Bob Maloney, Jim Manley, Steve Marchand, Jim Margolis, Paul Maslin, Keith Mason, Susan McCue, Gerald McEntee, Steve McMahon, Tom McMahon, Phil McNamara, David Medina, Michael Meehan, Mark Mellman, John Merrigan, Michael Monroe, Steve Murphy, Janet Napolitano, David Nassar, Marcia Nichols, John Norris, Tom Ochs, Tom O'Donnell, Jeffrey Peck, Debora Pignatelli, Tony Podesta, Jefrey Pollock, Jack Quinn, Larry Rasky, Mame Reiley, Ed Rendell, Steve Ricchetti, Will Robinson, Steve Rosenthal, David Rudd, Ryan Rudominer, John Ryan, Michael Sargeant, Stephanie Schriock, Terry Shumaker, Sean Sinclair, Phil Singer, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Greg Speed, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, Doug Thornell, Jeffrey Trammell, Ed Turlington, Rick Wiener, James Williams, JoDee Winterhof, Brian Wolff, Jon Youngdahl, and Jim Zogby.

GOP Political Insiders  Dan Allen, Stan Anderson, Gary Andres, Saulius (Saul) Anuzis, Rich Ashooh, Whit Ayres, Brett Bader, Mitch Bainwol, Brian Baker, Gary Bauer, David Beckwith, Paul Bennecke, Clark Benson, Wayne Berman, Brian Bieron, Charlie Black, Kirk Blalock, Carmine Boal, Jeff Boeyink, Ron Bonjean, Jeff Buley, Luke Byars, Nick Calio, Al Cardenas, Danny Carroll, Alex Castellanos, Ron Christie, Jim Cicconi, Jonathan Collegio, Rob Collins, Cesar Conda, Jake Corman, Scott Cottington, Jay Cranford, Greg Crist, Diane Crookham-Johnson, Fergus Cullen, Tom Davis, Mike Dennehy, Ken Duberstein, Debi Durham, Sara Fagen, Frank Fahrenkopf, John Feehery, Don Fierce, Mindy Finn, Carl Forti, Alex Gage, Bruce A. Gates, Sam Geduldig, Adam Geller, Benjamin Ginsberg, David Girard-diCarlo, Bill Greener, Jonathan Grella, Lanny Griffith, Janet Mullins Grissom, Doug Gross, Todd Harris, Steve Hart, Christopher Healy, Ralph Hellmann, Chris Henick, Terry Holt, David Iannelli, Ed Ingle, Jim Innocenzi, Clark Judge, David Keating, David Kensinger, Bob Kjellander, Ed Kutler, Chris LaCivita, Jim Lake, Steven Law, Steve Lombardo, Kevin Madden, Joel Maiola, Gary Maloney, David Marin, Mary Matalin, Dan Mattoon, Brian McCormack, Mark McKinnon, Kyle McSlarrow, Ken Mehlman, Jim Merrill, Lisa Camooso Miller, Tim Morrison, Mike Murphy, Phil Musser, Ron Nehring, Terry Nelson, Neil Newhouse, David Norcross, Ziad Ojakli, Jack Oliver, Todd Olsen, Kevin O'Neill, Connie Partoyan, Billy Piper, Van B. Poole, Tom Rath, Scott Reed, David Rehr, Tom Reynolds, Steve Roberts, Jason Roe, David Roederer, Dan Schnur, Russ Schriefer, Rich Schwarm, Brent Seaborn, Rick Shelby, Andrew Shore, Kevin Shuvalov, Don Sipple, Ken Spain, Fred Steeper, Bob Stevenson, Terry Sullivan, David Tamasi, Eric Tanenblatt, Richard Temple, Heath Thompson, Jay Timmons, Warren Tompkins, Ted Van Der Meid, Dirk Van Dongen, Jan van Lohuizen, Stewart Verdery, Dick Wadhams, John Weaver, Lezlee Westine, Dave Winston, Ginny Wolfe, Fred Wszolek, and Matthew Zablud.

This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal.

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