Several weeks ago, and well after the Libertarian Parties of Alabama and Mississippi announced plans for a Presidential debate at their joint convention, there were reports of a debate to be hosted by John Stossel over the same weekend. The Stossel debate was to include only Gary Johnson, John McAfee & Austin Petersen, however this debate did not happen as Johnson indicated that he couldn’t attend due to a prior commitment (the AL/MS convention debate).
The debate at the AL/MS LP convention was held in two parts with the first part including 10 of the 12 Presidential candidates recognized by the LP and one candidate not recognized by the LP. After the first hour of the debate, audience members participated in a straw poll whereby the top 5 candidates were selected for the 2nd round of the debate. The 5 candidates to move into the 2nd round were the 3 invited to the Stossel debate plus Marc Allan Feldman and Darryl W. Perry. At the conclusion of the five man debate, attendees were asked “If the election were today, who would you vote for?”. Gary Johnson won the straw poll with 38% followed by John McAfee at 26%. Petersen & Perry were separated by 3 votes at 17% & 15% respectively, followed by 4% for Feldman.
Three days after the Saturday night debate in Biloxi, John Stossel posted on his facebook page that he would be holding a debate to be recorded on March 29 and airing on April 1 to include the aforementioned Johnson, McAfee & Petersen “because they placed top three in a poll done by the Libertarian Party.”
He does not specify which poll, link to the results, say what percentage any of the candidates received in the poll, or explain why he was taking only 3 of the 12 candidates.
People are asking what they can do to get other candidates invited to the Stossel debate. A petition has been created on Change.org, and will be submitting on Friday March 4, a full 3 ½ weeks before the Stossel debate is to be recorded. Please sign the petition and share it with your friends before the petition is sent to Stossel and the three candidates participating in the debate.
Absent being invited to the Stossel debate, the Darryl W. Perry campaign is planning events for both March 29 & April 1.