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. nkj767

    Here are the Nevada State results (since it is not being reported by media):

    Republicans | Polls | County Results
    Candidate Votes % of votes Delegates won Projected winner
    Mitt Romney 22,649 51% 17
    Ron Paul 6,087 14% 4
    John McCain 5,651 13% 4
    Mike Huckabee 3,616 8% 2
    Fred Thompson 3,521 8% 2
    Rudy Giuliani 1,910 4% 1
    Duncan Hunter 890 2% 1
    100% of precincts reporting

    PLEASE NOTICE THAT RON PAUL TOOK SECOND PLACE! It is a shame that this is not being mentioned by media.

    January 20, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  2. Jeremy

    I HATE CNN !!

    January 20, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  3. cheryl davis

    Well, I am from now on boycotting the following stations:
    and also TIME-WARNER, DISNEY, GE, AND AARP who "own" these stations.
    About all that is left is Comedy Central and C-Span. Oh well, I do not watch much tv anyway, as it was rightly called the idiot box back in the 60's and most recently the boob tube. I will get my info from the computer, the only trusted source of news and a few periodicals that are news reports.
    My candidate is and will remain Dennis Kucinich, who is ignored and actively excluded from the debates because he is the man of the people with the message we all want to hear. Wake Up America! We need choices, not just the voices that the corporations want us to hear.
    I will vote for an independent before. I will not vote for the lesser of two evils. I want choices. No corporation has bought my soul and I wll not allow them to.

    January 20, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  4. Stella

    Allow the democratic process to be heard – let Kucinich participate in the debates.

    January 20, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  5. Allen

    it is not fair to the american people that mike gravel, dennis kucinich, and ron paul are being left out of these debates. they say its because of the polls but we all know that is a lie its all a money game and that is very wrong our founding fathers would be ashamed of the things that are going on right now. these are the only candidates that are actualy telling the truth and not feeding your head with a bunch of lies like clinton, obama, edwards, rhomney, guliani, Mckaine, and huckabee. if you look at how much these so called top candiates spend millons on just trying to be president it is sad if you stop and think if they spend all this money on just this in just a year imagine 4 years in office or maybe 8 they will be just like bush and fund wars we should not even be in and policing the world for what oil and power. this makes me sick to think that one of these could be president. I think that the american people and the media do what is right and give these three candidates a chance and let the american people here there voices and there views on things, but i think that the right thing will be done to change the rules on being in the debates.

    thanks, and give peace a chance.

    January 20, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  6. joni

    I think all the candidates should be in the debates no matter how the polls look if they are being excluded from the debates how can gravel, kuchinich, and paul be herd by the american people, I think its wrong that the media is trying to trying to choose my president for me. you dont even hear anything on these big media corrperations about hese candidates because these big corrperations are scared of them because these candidates say they will stop these media corperations from doing such unconstitutional things. what ever happed to freedom of speech in this country.

    January 20, 2008 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  7. allen

    CNN why would you take my comment of what ever happend to freedom of speech. i think its wrong that gravel, kuchinuch, and paul are being excluded from the debates and i think there voices should be herd just like all the other candidates no matter what the polls say there have only been a few primarys how can you judge by that i think all of them should be in the debates. please look at all thesecommints on here they are all saying the same thing i am the american people are crying out for justice.

    P.S. if you take this comment off like my last then freedom of speech does not exist anymore.

    January 20, 2008 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  8. Stephanie

    I am outraged upon learning that CNN has excluded Dennis Kucinich from the debate in South Carolina after first inviting him. The voting public needs to hear the voice of Kucinich. He must be included in the California debates!

    I support Dennis Kucinich because he has stood up against this war based on lies and is the only candidate offering a true, workable not-for-profit health care plan; he plans to create millions of jobs for Americans to repair our infrastructure and to make our country respected and effective again.

    Kucinich has been belittled by the media and yet he is the candidate that can truly heal this nation. Not with vague slogans about change and unity, but with real policies on the issues that we are facing.
    Let Dennis Kucinich debate!

    January 20, 2008 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |

    haha, i dont think CNN wants to post my comment. Fine, CNN, if you dont want to hear this news now hear it the night january 31 with the loud trumpets, bugles, tambourines, and drums that will echo into the halls of the debates!!!!

    January 20, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |

    By not posting these comments; you, CNN, are just proving my point!

    January 20, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  11. Tim Davis

    Vote for Romney! The media coverage of his "flip-flopping" is ridiculous. His decision for being pro-choice and then going pro-life is one that nearly every person must make. What his reasoning for being pro-choice was that he didn't want to criminalize abortion, just like nobody would want to criminalize adultery (except maybe Huckabee). By criminalizing abortion it makes that practice, even when it should be used (i.e. rape, or when the mother's life is jeopardized by the pregnancy) an unstudied and very poorly understood practice making it extremely difficult to improve upon the practice. As governor of Massachusetts he realized that by being pro-choice we were ruining our country. As opposed to merely not criminalizing abortion people were starting to lose their morals and not even value human life. He realized the error of his ways and even though he pretty much knew that by changing his stance to pro-life he would basically be giving up his seat as governor of Massachusetts he stood his ground and went with what he felt like he ethically had to do. That does not sound like a "flip-flopper." Romney is the only candidate that understands the economy and can get us out of our current crisis. Health care, economy, morals. Romney is the man for the times!

    January 20, 2008 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  12. John Darnell

    Why can't you let all the candidates be in the debates.

    MSNBC just recently excluded Dennis Kucinich based on some organizational politics. MSNBC invited him and then disinvited him 44 hours later. I researched it and found out that the network didn't want him in because of thier own interests.

    Our freedom of speech to hear all the candidates is the point. WE AS AMERICANS HAVE A RIGHT TO HEAR ALL THE CANDIDATES EVEN IF THEY WON'T WIN. THIS IS WHAT AMERICA IS ALL ABOUT! It's only fair to them and us as AMERICANS...


    January 21, 2008 03:19 am at 3:19 am |
  13. Peter Grace

    What candidates have been invited or will be invited to the January 30th GOP Debate at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, CA?

    The criteria for whom shall be invited is here:

    Will Doctor Ron Paul, the Congressman from Texas be invited ?

    He has garnered interest from many voters in other states. Will the California Primary coming up, it would be good to hear from all the candidates including Dr Paul. Will the LA Times and CNN invite him? Or, is there truth to the talk of a media conspiracy to ignore Dr Paul ?

    As a California voter, I would like to hear Dr. Paul at the debate.

    January 21, 2008 03:22 am at 3:22 am |
  14. melanie

    I just added a post that was a rather vehement protest against CNN and other media providers' exclusion of candidates such as Ron Paul, Kucinich, and so forth from the televised debates, and it was removed by the moderator.

    I believe I threatened to boycott CNN if they did not include Paul in the California Republican debate. That is not going to change, even if you delete my comments. How many other people are protesting this election-rigging behavior by our beloved media, and having their comments removed? Eh?

    Fess up, CNN, or at least consider these comments a form of market research.

    January 21, 2008 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  15. Natalie

    Has anyone heard Hillary say what in her 35 years of experience qualifies her for the Presidency? I haven't.

    January 21, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  16. marilyn

    Let ALL of the candidates Democratic and Republican into the debates! Who does the media think it is to censer the political process this way?? I thought there were laws pertaining to equal air time for political candidates?

    I have no clue who I am going to vote for right now, being an independent I could go either way, and have in the past voted for both parties, It is totally unfair to limit my choices by no media time for ALL the candidates!

    January 21, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  17. Scott

    Let all national candidates debate.
    To exclude Kucinich and others is a disservice.
    Some reports say at least half of voters are undecided.
    Shame on you.
    I trust your real reasons will be revealed. My suspicions are that a combination of pageantry and sports spectacle (and now there are 4, and now there are 3, etc.) is a part of it.
    Kucinich's policies would make private health insurance irrelevant in our lives. Perhaps a sizable chunk of your advertisers aren't too happy about being made irrelevant.

    January 21, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  18. Kelly

    So is this why CNN left John Edwards off their January poll? Were you hoping the others would follow suit? You never cease to disgust me.

    January 21, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  19. tina jones

    I would like to here someone ask Senator Clinton Why she did not remove her name from the ballad in Michigan. This is any essential question that hundred of my peers who like answere if she want our vote in Detroit. Also there is a law that allows Cuban to stay in our country if the make it to dryland not in the ocean. However for Hatians the are removed from this country and sent back if found in the ocean or dry land. I'd like to here someone discuss this law and how its fair??
    Oh I forget there is no predjudice or discrimination in the US my fault !!! Its time to ask some question that matter to the country not the same old questions in every debate

    January 21, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  20. sam

    Can you please stop asking meaningless questions like when you started running for president or what your new years' resolution is and start asking questions about Science or Stem Cell Research?? This way we will actually see which candidate would be the best for the nomination.

    January 21, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  21. William H. Bassett


    Every citizen must demand – from every candidate for office, from every Congressional Representative and Senator now in office an answer to the question:

    What have you done to fulfill your Oath of Office, to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America, in the face of the many credible allegations of impeachable offence leveled against George W. Bush and Richard Cheney?

    How can you, standing for office, ask anyone to vote for you in the face of your failure to demand hearings and investigations? How can you ask us to believe, that once elected, you will honor the oath you have, so far, failed to honor?

    And, from every journalist, newscaster, interviewer and media pundit –

    How, as journalists, can you justify your failure to demand an answer to this question?

    January 21, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  22. William H. Bassett

    How have the candidates acted to support The California Democratic Party’s Resolution Number, Now SD07.53 A (formerly MAN06.25)
    Calling For Full Investigation Into Abuses Of Power By President George W. Bush And Vice President Richard B. Cheney – ???
    Adopted by the Democratic State Central Committee of California
    AKA "California Democratic Party"
    At Its Annual State Convention
    San Diego Convention Center
    April 29, 2007

    January 21, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  23. Liz

    I wonder if this will be a real debate that actually includes all the candidates, unlike most of the other debates so far. The American people are getting snowed by the media and corporations that gain from their chosen candidates who are allowed to participate in the debates, and who also coincidentally support their lucrative agendas. I am disgusted by this so called "democracy in action".

    January 21, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  24. Yvonne

    Greed and corruptness are the only motives for excluding the voices of legitimate candidates from reaching the people, period. Iowa PBS, ABC, NBC, MSNBC, and CNN should be ashamed for playing a role in usurping democracy from the American people in a presidential election! I greatly admire Congressman Kucinich, and am joining the growing public boycott of the media networks that do not allow ALL of the candidates to be heard.

    January 21, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  25. Greg, California

    Dennis Kucinich should not be excluded from any of these debates. As many others have pointed out, the "debates" as they are currently with Clinton and Obama with Edwards in the sidelines are beyond dull and pointless! Let's get someone in there that speaks the truth and, like Edwards, focuses on what is important rather than slinging mud at each other.

    Dennis Kucinich, despite the media blackout, is still in the race. Imagine how his compaign would be doing if he had the free media publicity that the top two get – or even a small fraction of it.

    Stop excluding Dennis Kucinich. He must be heard.

    January 21, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
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