Second presidential debate will include most popular public questions

Moderators for the second presidential debate from CNN and ABC News announced Tuesday that they will consider asking candidates 30 of the most popular questions submitted and voted on by the public.

The next contest between the Democratic and Republican nominees will take place Oct. 9 at Washington University in St. Louis, hosted by Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz.

Debate questions can be proposed and supported at the Open Debate Coalition’s website,

The coalition, created in 2008, consists of numerous political advocacy groups, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Americans for Tax Reform, FreedomWorks, MoveOn, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and many others.

The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) analyzed an April debate between Florida U.S. Senate contenders Alan Grayson and David Jolly sponsored by the coalition which used questions submitted by the public, which CPD found to be more issue-based, rather than personal and electoral.

“The commission was watching closely at the Open Debate Coalition as the Open Debate Coalition tested out their innovative bottom-up question submission and voting platform in the primaries this year, and we were impressed with the results,” said CPD co-chair Mike McCurry.

At the time of this writing, the three most popular questions are the following:

  1. “Would you support term limits for Congress and the Supreme Court?”
  2. “How will you ensure the 2nd amendment is protected?”
  3. “Do you support allowing Gary Johnson to participate in the final debate?”

On Tuesday, vice-presidential candidates Tim Kaine and Mike Pence will debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Va., at 9 p.m. EST, moderated by CBS News correspondent Elaine Quijano.


[The Atlantic] [McClatchy-DC] [Photo courtesy AP/New York Post]