December 21st, 2007
05:15 PM ET
8 years ago

'Super Tuesday' presidential debates in California

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The top Democratic and Republican presidential contenders will be invited to appear in nationally televised debates in California less than one week before "Super Tuesday," CNN, The Los Angeles Times, and Politico announced Friday.

The California debates, which will be broadcast on CNN, will take place in a delegate rich state that both Republican and Democratic White House hopefuls are mining for votes and campaign cash.

It will be the final time the candidates appear together on the same stage before February 5 when 23 states hold presidential nominating contests.

Republicans will appear at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley on January 30. Former first lady Nancy Reagan has personally informed candidates that they will be invited if they are frontrunners.

The California Democratic Party has sanctioned the Democratic debate, which will take place January 31 in Los Angeles. CNN, the Los Angeles Times, and Politico are organizing these historic events.

The three media organizations said candidates will be invited if they place in one of the top four spots in an early voting state, and receive at least 5 percent in either a California survey conducted by the organizers or any one of 10 nationally identified media sponsored polls in January.

Organizers will determine Democratic eligibility based upon the Democratic National Committee's early calendar schedule that includes Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. For Republicans, the list of possible contests includes: Iowa, Wyoming, New Hampshire, Michigan, Nevada, South Carolina, and Florida.

In addition to a CNN/Los Angeles Times/Politico survey of California voters, the media organizations said other polls they will use to determine eligibility include: CNN, Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg, The New York Times, CBS, USA Today/Gallup, NBC/Wall Street Journal, FOX/Opinion Dynamics, Washington Post/ABC, TIME, or Newsweek.

Filed under: Presidential Debates
soundoff (189 Responses)
  1. HHH

    I AM SORRY – but ALL candidates should be allowed, Republican or Democratic. I am a RON PAUL fan, but anyone running should be allowed. FREEDOM OF SPEECH. Go CALIFORNIA - Go to the debate and speak your peace. Whoever you select, (LIKELY Kucinech or Paul). PLEASE!!! SPEAK OUT!!! Select the best for our country!!! They are truest and do NOT flip flop, and will do what is best for our troops, and keep jobs here in our country! SELECT PAUL OR KUCINECH - GO RON PAUL (I am a Ron Paul fan, I guess you can see, but they are alot alike).

    CNN shouldnt be pregidous to speakers, allow all to speak!

    January 16, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  2. Venus

    CNN is NOT selling tickets to this event. It is invite only. I guess they want to pack the house with who they want to support. Why can't the public have access to their candidates? What's going on CNN??? Not fair for Californians.

    January 16, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  3. Wendy

    I am am desperately trying to find out how to attend this historic event. This is my daughter's first election; she is very inerested and I would love to keep her interest in politics alive. Any suggestions?

    January 17, 2008 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  4. joe albiani

    There is no debate without Dennis Kucinich! He is the only one with different ideas than the three tweedledums the media seem to love. America is supposed to be about free speech. If Kucinich is silenced again free speech is a mockery.

    January 17, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  5. JTMartin

    I need to say this because it is not being said my anyone. I am a sixty year old black grandmother. I have watch the town I live in become more and more Latino 70% of whom are ILLEGAL. I have watch the schools decline, the hospitals fill-up and black losing tons of jobs. The Latinos have come in here and taken most of the unskilled jobs because they are willing to work for three, four, five dollars an hour less. Wages we as blacks, have lived here all ours lives can not live on.
    Blacks and Latinos are NOT a coaltion. I have not seen one Latin get lynched.murdered, drug or ensalved since they have been in this country . We have endured it all, and still do. They walk across the border and take my husbands job because they are willing to work for four dollars less an hour. I say all this to say. I have beena Democrat since I watched JF Kennedy debate Richard NIxon. JFK inspired me to be a community activist and major in pol. soc.
    I and sick and tired of the party taking us (Blacks), for granted. I want you to ask a specific question regarding what the candidated plans on doing for blacks. I Why is "my" party allowing these people come in here and take my and my familes jobs and businesses. They are so busy trying to get their vote s ney don't seen to care if we vote for them or not. I want these ILLEGALS stopped. I want their being here illegally challenged when they attempt to get a job . I want the illegal IDS challlenged. They show up with a birth certifcate and they can not speak a word of english.
    My family has been here since the 1600's. We have fought in every war . My daddy became disabled lying in a dutch frozen waiting on planes to return from their missions to repair. My oldest brother died in Vietnam in the Marines. I want the party I love to love me back or we will find somewhere else to go. We can and do vote . Most of us have not switched to the Republican party for Reagan or Bush. We have remained. Treat us like it!!!!!

    January 17, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  6. JTMartin

    i want Wolf , or someone to ask the candidates what to they plan to do for the black community. I have to care about me and mine first and I do. I'm sorry for the Latinos plight, but it is no better than mine here. Especially, since they have invaded this country in the last seven years. The ILLEGALLS ARE the reason for a great deal of the economy woes. Just read my statement and ask a question related t it.
    Thank You,

    January 17, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  7. Joseph Esposito

    Please allow the American people to decide whom they wish to vote for and not CNN executives.

    Please Include Ron Paul, Duncan Hunter and Dennis Kucinich in your debates.

    January 17, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  8. Melvin Gill

    I would like to see all Canadates that are still seeking the office of Presidency
    given the chance to explane their views in the debate. The media does not have the right to narrow the field for us. We the people are suppost to make that decision. And not just a few states. And not based on polling. Show some respect
    to all.

    January 17, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  9. nkj767

    Since Ron Paul has been running ahead of Giuliani and Thompson (in Michigan, actually received more votes than Giuliani and Thompson combined) we will be looking forward to his participation in all upcoming debates.

    January 17, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  10. David

    Let Kucinich debate!

    January 17, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  11. James

    I know I will not be available to attend, thanks to my second full time job to make ends meet. I hope that someone here would pose this question if the opportunity arises;

    I would like to know, what the candidates think the will of the people is, we asked to end the Iraq war, and they fund it, we ask to control our borders and ports, and they are still open, we ask to label our food, and its still absent, we ask for ethics reform, and corruption is at a new high, we ask for safer streets, and they cut funds for law enforcement, we ask for better education, and our schools are over crowded, with under qualified educators, we ask for better paying jobs, and we get a small increase in the minimum wage, we ask to enforce immigration laws, but have sanctuary cities, we ask for government protection, but we have predatory lending, false advertisements, and unethical practices, we ask for urban development, and they create it in other countries, we ask for fair tax codes, its more complicated then ever, we need affordable housing, and that is a crazy market, we ask for better transportation, and fuel prices skyrocket, we ask for control over the cost of living, and everything goes up, we ask for a choice in the things we buy, and get cloned meat, and dairy products, we need better trade, and get dangerous goods, we ask for a competent government, and we get, well you know my point.

    This is a big ticket item, and its going to take some negotiations, and some arm twisting, that is why I think Obama will be a better candidate to handle our national issues, but we need Powell for our international affairs.

    OBAMA/POWELL with Lou Dobbs in the cabinet 2008

    A negotiator, an enforcer, and a protector

    January 17, 2008 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  12. nkj767

    Since Ron Paul is running ahead of Thompson and Giuliani, we look forward to seeing Ron Paul in all future debates. Following are results of Michigan primary (from Michigan Messenger):
    Republicans – 16,661 votes cast (75 percent of the vote counted)
    Mitt Romney - 45 percent - 7,529 votes
    John McCain - 25 percent - 4,204 votes
    Mike Huckabee - 13 percent - 2,273 votes
    Ron Paul - 6 percent - 1,069 votes
    Fred Thompson - 4 percent - 671 votes
    Rudy Giuliani - 3 percent - 491 votes

    January 18, 2008 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
  13. hope

    It is already advertised as a Closed Debate on several sites. No tickets sold to general population.

    By this not being an open debate, we can plan on seeing "planned polls" and unfair airtime after the debates. The debates should be fully open to the public to hear true response and gain fair in-house polls.

    ALL CANDIDATES SHOULD BE ALLOWED and voices should be heard. But, be careful - as said above, you could soon be termed a terrorist. Research S 1955 and HB 1959. Write your Representatives. Stop these now. The Fourth Estate has been compromised and can no longer be trusted.

    Vote RON PAUL!

    January 18, 2008 05:24 am at 5:24 am |
  14. Jack

    Why was this SPECIFIC CRITERIA made? How did CNN come to the conclusion that you need to do all this to have a voice? Why did CNN make it so selective? Do the same rules apply for republicans? If they do not, isn't CNN inconsistent with its implementation?

    January 18, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  15. Dylan L.

    I think that all candidates that are activley running should be allowed to be in the debate for their respective parties. I don't think it is right, for people like Mike Gravel, Ron Paul, and Dennis Kucinich to not have a cahnce to voice their opinion, because they don't have the resources or are not polling enough somehwere. Maybe if they were allowed to enter the debate they would pick up more votes, and eventually become front runners. All three candidates I mentioned have great potential to be front runners in this race, but because they are not being heard by the people they don't have a shot now. Just look at the fact that Mike Gravel has won many blind polls, but when it comes to an actual debate he is never heard, which contributes to the fact that nobody knows who he is.

    January 19, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  16. T. Watkins

    Over the last four years I always said if Hillary ran I would vote for her in a heartbeat, because I loved Bill. Well over the last year I have listened to all of the Democrats speak on what they can do for this great country. Well I've heard all of them say that we need a "Change" and Hillary said I have the "Experience" to make that change but what has "She" done over the last eight years in the senate to make a difference? Is she really asking us to vote for her because of what Bill, her husband, did to make a difference? I say lets really think about what we as a people really need leading us into our and our children future. Do we need a president when things get ruff "She'll cry" for it? There's no crying in politics! We need someone who can bring the UNITED STATES of America together first! Someone who has the capability to ask those hard questions, while being respectful. Someone that will hear and understand what we as a people NEED at thi s critical time in our country. That person I feel is Senator Obama. To Answer my favorite president of the United States, YES I DO BELIEVE IN FAIRY-TALES!!!

    January 19, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  17. Juli An

    Let's see how CNN can "fix" the debate by eliminating Ron Paul and bringing in Rudy Giuliani or Fred Thompson – We're watching you CNN! Again, another major news conglomerate is trying to determine the outcome of the election by marginalizing and boycotting candidates – Freedom of Speech? How about your Right to Vote?

    January 19, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  18. Jack

    Why was this SPECIFIC CRITERIA made? How did CNN come to the conclusion that you need to do all this to have a voice? Why did CNN make it so selective? Do the same rules apply for republicans? If they do not, isnt CNN inconsistent with its implementation?

    January 19, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  19. Jeremy

    UNFORTUNATELY, I have just found out that CNN has cut Kuicnich from the debate in South Carolina. I am greatly disheartened and speechless. What have you done, CNN!!!! Your justification is PATHETIC. Don't use the low poll numbers to justify this censorship. It's because of this censorship that KUCINICH has low poll numbers.

    Congratulations–CNN, you have just Defiled a Democracy!!

    January 19, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  20. Esther

    I cannot attend the debate because I live in Florida.
    Would someone explain why Sen. Hillary Clinton continue to emphasize that she is the most experienced candidate when she compares herself to Obama?
    Other than the fact that she lived in the White House for eight years with her husband, how much more legal and community service experience does she have than Obama? Of course she has lived 12-15 years longer. So in comparison,their accomplishments are about equal. However,I may not be aware of ALL those wonderful accomplishments of Sen Clinton. Educate me!

    January 19, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  21. Max, South Dakota

    I'm not a big fan of these debates because not all the candidates are invited to the deabte, like Kucinich or Gravel. Espically in the last debate in Nevada, when Kucinich was denied into the debate, even though he met all the requirements but at the last minute MSNBC denied him from being in the debate. The media is choosing our candidates.

    January 19, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  22. Michelle

    I notice that there is a statement under the comment box that "Comments are moderated by CNN..." Good. I hope they are actually reading them and noticing the percentage of them expressing outrage at CNN providing yet more examples of the main stream media trying to rig our elections by excluding from the debates candidates that are not bought and paid for by large corporations.

    You may add my voice to the protest.

    Please reconsider, CNN.

    January 19, 2008 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  23. Misha

    Los Angeles... for those of you who would like to attend the debate... go to

    The California Democratic Party has a limited number of available public debate tickets and will hold a lottery to distribute them. The lottery will be held on January 23rd and debate ticket winners will be notified by email on January 25th. The deadline for ticket requests is Thursday January 23rd at 12pm. Due to normal security requirements all lottery ticket requests must be through this website and the tickets are not transferable.

    AGE REQUIREMENT: All audience members must be at least 18 years old and bring a valid photo ID.

    The ticket lottery can only be entered online. We regret that we are unable to take entries over the phone.

    January 19, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  24. Danny

    I beg you to reconsider excluding Kucinich. Most trusted name in news? Not anymore if you do not allow Kucinich debate.

    January 20, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  25. Michael Dunne Healy

    Two questions for Senator Clinton: When you first came to the White House in 1992, it is my understanding you fired or had fired long employed non-partisan employees from the travel bureau. Do you plan to do the same to those now there if you return to the WH?
    Is it true that when you left the WH in 2000 you took with you some government property belonging to the taxpayers? If true, are you planning to return the property to their rightful owners, we taxpayers?

    Michael Dunne Healy

    January 20, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
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