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)

    Gee, I hope they give Ron Paul a few extra questions...
    They seem to be giving him the "short shrift".
    I like the way he talks and would like hear more of his views.
    There was little to no reporting of him in the last debate.

    January 28, 2008 03:12 am at 3:12 am |
  2. Buzz

    Question for Hillary Clinton – if possible?

    The Baker-Hamilton Report recommendations for peace in the Middle East and with Muslims states in RECOMMENDATION 13: "There must be a renewed and sustained commitment by the United States to a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace on all fronts."

    It also states: "Political engagement and dialogue are essential in the Arab- Israeli dispute because it is an axiom that when the political process breaks down there will be violence on the ground."

    The US gives between 25 to 30% of all its foreign aid to Israel, a nation of 6.5 million, on par with per capita income with much of Europe. Israel is a nation that sold our military technology to nations of potential threat; gave US shared intelligence to the Soviet Union; fired on the USS Liberty and killed 37 US sailors after circling the US intellegence ship with clear identification for more than three hours, etc. Yet Israel seems to control American politics in their favor, making it difficult for the US to maintain an even-handed, credible, foreign policy within the Arab and Muslim world.

    As president, how wil you interact with the second largest lobbyest group at the national level, the American Israeli Political Action Committee, AIRPAC, and what will you do to encourage limits in its control over congress?

    Will you talk with Hamas?

    Note: you are free to modify any part of my question(s) as long as the intent remains with the intent.

    Buzz Kalkowski

    January 28, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  3. Bradford Hager

    Why is Alan Keys being left out of this debate? He is on the the ballot!

    Could it be that he is the only real threat to a Democrat winning in November?

    January 29, 2008 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  4. Matt

    Bradford: No, the reason Keyes is not in the debate is NOT because he is the only real threat to a Democrat winning in November. But, I agree with you on your main point – is he is on the ballot, he should participate. Also, I disagree with the current trend of asking different questions for each candidate. Why not ask the same questions of each candidate (allowing them equal time, of course) and allow the candidates to define themselves? As it is, some of the questions are so biased that they expose the questioners' biases, rather than the thoughts of the candidate.

    January 29, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  5. Marian

    Debate Moderators,

    Please ask relevant questions about the real issues. Avoid the media generated issues...race, gender, Bill Clinton, Kennedy, etc. Who really cares. I care about the Economy, Education and the Environment. All three are so very connected and if properly addressed would lead us to peace and social justice.

    January 29, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |

    Please ask about social security, thats my only hope in life beside my hope in God Almighty.

    January 30, 2008 03:17 am at 3:17 am |
  7. IowaforHuckabee

    Please allow equal time for all of the candidates. Allowing more time for certain candidates is not only unfair to all of the candidates, but very unfair to "we the people" who want to hear what they all have to say so that we can make an informed decision. Not to mention, that it can become very tiresome and boring listening to the same candidate say the same things over and over.

    January 30, 2008 03:22 am at 3:22 am |
  8. Brian

    Debate Moderators,

    I would echo Marian's post above about asking the candidates about real issues. I also like Matt's suggestion that each candidate be given the same question.

    Most importantly though, please give each candidate equal time...unlike the last debates by MSNBC and Fox (mostly MSNBC) where the top 2 candidates (McCain & Romney) were given the bulk of the time. I am interested in hearing what each candidate has to say, not just the front runners. The front runners might not be the front runners if the other candidates were heard equally (doubtful but possible).

    Thank you in advance for your time and consideration in this matter.


    January 30, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  9. Dave

    Why not make this a real debate? Let Ron Paul speak up for a change. I know the media's agenda is important, but why not just for the heck of it, put the ratings first. I know your ratings would go up if you held a fair, unbiased debate, unlike the other networks. This debate could be highly interesting and even entertaining. Think about it. You could give back to the American people the right to make an educated choice when they vote.

    January 30, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  10. Robert

    With the Democrats now down to two candidates, I'm concerned that CNN will want to thin the Republican field down to three, and exclude Ron Paul.

    This, of course, would be a disservice to the country and to the Republican Party as well.

    January 30, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  11. Kay

    I'm wondering if someone will please ask John McCain what he has done for the last 25 years as a US Senator for the Vets. I was amazed when I heard about the condition of the Walter Reed Medical Center. If he is such an advocate for our military....I can't seem to find his record on what bills he has written or co-written to care for our vets, soldiers etc? He uses this as his belt of honor...however, I'm wondering what he really does. I live in Michigan and I have never gotten such negative phone calls against Mitt Romney as we received from the McCain turned me off from him BIG TIME. Now I'm looking closer at his record and would like some answeres if his main issue when he speaks is the military...where is his record for our military other than his support for the war...he has been there for 25 years....what has he really done?

    January 30, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  12. June

    I absolutely agree with Marian.

    Debate Moderators,

    Please ask relevant questions about the real issues. Avoid the media generated issues…race, gender, Bill Clinton, Kennedy, etc. Who really cares. I care about the Economy, Education and the Environment. All three are so very connected and if properly addressed would lead us to peace and social justice.

    I would love to see a debate on just issues and not what he said/she said.

    January 30, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  13. MattB

    Regarding McCain and his alleged support of the military: take note as to which Republican candidate has received the most funds by far from veterans. It is Ron Paul, not McCain.
    Glad to see that folks are noticing the shameful and obvious bias of the media and debate organizers against such candidates as Ron Paul and Kucinich. Do you suppose it will be any different for this debate?

    January 30, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  14. T, Anderson

    So, is there a list of which candidates will be allowed to speak at this debate?

    January 30, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  15. Al Nagengast

    Please give Ron Paul a fair shake to noght.
    He has NEVER gotten one yet in these debates!

    January 30, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  16. Liberty Lover

    Why is CNN being evasive? Who will the Republicans be at the debate?

    January 30, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  17. John

    I like the convenient "they will be invited if they are frontrunners" bit. How does one define "frontrunner?" Top 3? At least 10 delegates? Nicest suit? Fewest cavities?

    Why don't they just come out and say it: If your last name isn't Clinton, Obama, Romney, or McCain, just stay away, because your views aren't important. I mean, it's only the process of electing the next "Leader of the Free World."

    January 30, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  18. Patricia Spangler

    Will Ron Paul be in the debate tonight? If no, why not?

    January 30, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  19. Andrew

    Will Ron Paul be there?

    If he isn't I'm afraid the whole debate will be pointless

    and a sham!

    Ron Paul talks about issues that concern me.

    January 30, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  20. Vicki Ainsworth

    If elected President what would you do to reverse the current market trend in the real estate debacle? Be specific. The feds are dropping the rate, but, the banks are overworked and understaffed with an influx of paper work so much that there is not enough people to handle the workload. What would you do?

    January 30, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  21. Marcia

    I agree with Shelley....the public should be allowed to go!

    January 30, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    Ask Mr,Obama,why he is not hiring minorities on his staff? Mrs Clinton hired more minorities on her staff than Mr obama. Also ask him ,75% prison population is young African Americans,How is he going to help them?

    January 30, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  23. usha

    Ask Mr,Obama,why he is not hiring minorities on his staff? Mrs Clinton hired more minorities on her staff than Mr obama. Also ask him ,75% prison population is young African Americans,How is he going to help them?

    January 30, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  24. crystal

    I am very excited for these debates. I am particularly excited for the GOP debate. Now that there are only four candidates, perhaps the time allotments will be more even. I know that the current administration is not known for it's fiscal conservatism, and I believe we need some of that in the next administration. There is only one fiscal conservative left, Dr. Ron Paul, and I will love to hear what his plans are for fixing the economic problems we face today. Ron Paul 2008

    January 30, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  25. Calvin Lidmark

    I am amazed that, for all practical purposes, the Presidential Candidates are inaccessible. I am blown away that candidates running for the highest office in our Nation, do not have time to respond to inquiries, some of which politely suggest we contact our State Legislators. That would be okay, if it were not for the fact the issues are "national" in context and relevant to their election campaigns, as well as, work at Capitol Hill. Of course, those who are not in office currently do have an excuse. However, with the emphases on "listening" to the American public, showcasing their town meetings, and being a voice for those who "cannot speak for themselves," canned replies and offers to support their election campaigns resound. Among other inquiries, I recently asked why the proposed economic "stimulus" package is delayed after our tax returns are done. Doesn't it seem more practical, effective, and efficient to require the IRS to use a technological "tickler" or simple form to process the stimulus rebates at the same time. No wonder nothing gets done! Please share my views and frustration with your viewing audience. I suspect I'm not alone.

    While I am pleased to learn Congress is willing to work with President Bush on the proposed economic stimulus package. Most presidential candidates and economic experts agree that the need is immediate. If this is the case, why is the IRS waiting to process the stimulus package funds after processing our 2007 tax returns? This does not make sense and seems inefficient.

    It seems to me, that all the taxpayers’ information is readily available at the time of doing their 2007 tax returns. Surely, the IRS could have a "tickler" or simple additional form to complete. Then process the stimulus funds at the same time of that of our tax returns. If the funds are indeed available, there should be no reason for "hanging on" to the funds and going through another whole and essentially, "repeat,” return to process the stimulus rebates.

    I am asking you to introduce this sensible action and require the IRS to comply by processing the stimulus rebates at the same time as the processing of our citizen's 2007 tax returns."

    January 30, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
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