Commission on Presidential Debates Nearing Abandonment of 2024 Forums

The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), an organization responsible for organizing nonpartisan debates during presidential election cycles, is strongly considering discontinuing its role in the 2024 election.

Background on the CPD

The CPD was founded in 1987 as a nonpartisan organization tasked with organizing debates between major party presidential nominees. The commission is composed of nine members: five Democrats, three Republicans, and one Independent.

Reasons for the Decision

The CPD is facing several challenges that have led to its decision to reconsider its role in the 2024 debates:

  • Erosion of Public Trust: Recent polls indicate declining public confidence in the debates, with some respondents questioning their fairness and relevance.
  • Increased Partisanship: The political landscape has become increasingly polarized, making it difficult to find consensus on debate formats and rules.
  • Threats to Participants: The CPD has faced threats of violence and intimidation against debate participants, raising concerns about safety.
  • Financial Constraints: The CPD relies on corporate donations to fund its operations. However, many corporations have expressed reluctance to sponsor debates due to the intense political scrutiny.

Consequences of CPD Withdraw

If the CPD decides to withdraw from hosting the 2024 debates, it would have significant implications:

  • Diminished Public Participation: Without an official platform for presidential debates, the public would have fewer opportunities to engage with candidates and compare their views.
  • Increased Influence of Media Outlets: If the CPD does not hold debates, news organizations and social media platforms would wield greater influence in shaping the discourse around the election.
  • Potential for Unofficial Debates: Candidates may turn to other venues, such as town halls or third-party platforms, to hold unofficial debates. However, these events may lack the reach and legitimacy of CPD-sanctioned forums.

Alternative Options

If the CPD does not hold debates in 2024, several alternative options could emerge:

  • Independent Organizations: Private organizations or non-profit groups could step forward to host debates.
  • Candidates' Agreements: Candidates themselves could negotiate their own debate schedules and rules.
  • Congressional Action: Congress could pass legislation to establish a new commission or mandate public funding for debates.


The Commission on Presidential Debates is nearing a decision to discontinue hosting debates in the 2024 election. The commission faces challenges such as declining public trust, increased partisanship, and threats against participants. The withdrawal of the CPD would have significant consequences for public engagement and the political process. Alternative options could emerge if the CPD decides not to hold debates, but their effectiveness and legitimacy remain uncertain. The outcome of the commission's deliberations will have a profound impact on the conduct and transparency of the upcoming presidential election.

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