Who Won the Third Party Debate: Gary Johnson but Virgil Goode, Rocky Anderson, and Jill Stein Got the Crowd Going


Thought there were only three presidential debates? Well, you thought wrong kid. While Mitt Romney and Barack Obama lick the salt from their wounds, four lesser known presidential candidates are putting on their gloves and gearing up for their own round of sparring to take place Tuesday night. The debate, moderated by Larry King and streamed online, will feature Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, Green Party candidate Jill Stein, Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode, and Rocky Anderson of the brand-spanking new Justice Party. (Mitt Romney and Barack Obama were invited to attend but both campaigns declined).

Are any of these candidates likely to win the nomination? No, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t tune in. Unlike the “real” presidential debates, expect honest, candid, unscripted, and to the point answers on a plethora of issues. Not to mention, while nothird party candidate has ever won in a presidential election, and they tend to be nothing more than a nuisance for the Republican and Democratic nominees, they certainly have a history of skewing the outcome for would-be winners. For example, Teddy Roosevelt ran on the Progressive Party platform after losing his party’s nomination in 1912, this threw the presidency to Woodrow Wilson.

History could repeat itself this election season. Gary Johnson, the former two-term governor of New Mexico (who's running on the Libertarian ticket in 48 states,) opposes the Afghanistan war, wants to legalize marijuana and repeal the Patriot Act. He could disproportionally pull left-leaning voters away from Obama in key states like Colorado (where a marijuana initiative is likely to draw a number of left-leaning voters). Likewise, former six-term Rep. Virgil Goode, who is on the ballot in 26 states, including the battleground state of Virginia, is running on the anti-immigration Constitution Party ticket, and could pull votes away from Mitt Romney.

The debate will be 90 minutes with questions from King to the candidates plus questions submitted real-time by voters via social media using the hashtag #AskEmThisLarry. There are no specified topics, no rules on response time or interaction among the candidates.

The debate airs at 9:00 p.m. EST on Ora.TV.

PolicyMic will be covering the presidential debate live. For live updates, bookmark and refresh this page.

10:32 PM: Well it's over. I certainly LOL'd a couple of times. Thanks for joining me. This was my first attempt at liveblogging. This is kind of how I feel right now.

Hope y'all enjoyed it!

10:30 PM: Le fin....

10:29 PM: There will be another debate (Oct. 30th) featuring the two candidates with the highest vote. Go online now. I'm guessing Gary Johnson will definitely get one. I'd love to see Virgil get the other cause he's so exciting.

10:28 PM: Standing applause for the (master) debaters. Hmm, shot of the room not a good idea. Looks kind of empty.

10:27 PM: Aww sweet. Happy B-day to Mr. Tobin.

10:26 PM: Larry closing up. Asking Tobin where the idea for Free & Equal came from.

10:25 PM: Anyone else have the 3 Ninjas quote in their mind everytime his name is called? "rocky loves emily, rocky loves emily...."

10:24 PM: Rocky finishing it up. Man, if I had a dollar for everytime he said "corporations" or "fat cats" I'd have like $10!

10:22 PM: Jill Stein quoting Alice Walker. “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any.” It's a good one. Calls students indentured servants, really Jill?

10:21 PM: Gary Johnson--> A wasted vote is voting for someone you don't believe in! Huge applause.

10:20 PM: Gary Johnson touting record in NM. Immigration is a good thing but no need to give them green cards (work visas instead)

10:17 PM: No rebuttals. On to closing statements. 2 minutes. Virgil starts: lots of thank yous, pushes for a more open election process, repeats 4 issues--> balance budget now, moratorium on green cards until uneployment below 5%, stop PACs and superPACs, term limits dammit! 

10:16 PM: Jill Stein going off on corporations as people. She doesn't think they are. I missed what her amendment would be though. Mixed applause.

10:15 PM: Johnson also says term limits. Interesting. Says root of all evil are politicians pushing to get re-elected.

10:12 PM: Goode, term limits. Good applause. Points out we'd have to grandfather all the guys in Congress now in order to get it to past. 

10:11 PM: Rocky, a new Equal Rights Amendment that guarantees freedom from discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, etc. Big Applause.

10:10 PM: Final question. If you had the opportunity to write one Constitutional Amendment, what would you amend?

10:09 PM: Awkward silence.

10:08 PM: Gary Johnson gives a shout out to Ron Paul. 

10:06 PM: Now they start ripping into Obama. For you Obama-bots out there, listen up. Dude is a huge violator of civil liberties.

10:03 PM: 5th question. Civil Rights. Where do you stand on NDAA Section 10.21, the ability to detain Americans indefinitely. Yawn, I'm sure everyone is going to agree...again. Did Larry pick these questions?

10:02 PM: It's heating up! Rocky and Jill, free money for our kids. Goode and Johnson, pay your own way you cheap-ass SOBs....

10:00 PM: Goode's statement gets a lot of applause (no free money for school kid). Gary Johnson follows with a great line "Free comes with a cost"

9:58 PM: Rocky agrees with Jill. Gary foaming at the mouth. 

9:57 PM: Jill Stein wants a bailout for college kids. Puh-lease...

9:55 PM: Jill Stein supports free education for all. Mixed boos and applause. Finally, some disagreement. 

9:55 PM: GJ notes cost of tuition increasing because government is offering guaranteed loans (i.e., distorting supply and demand)

9:54: 4th question. Oooo a video question. How to provide affordable education for everyone. Some kid claiming education cost 400K. Larry King fact checks him.

9:53 PM: Larry wants rebuttals not resaying the same thing. That kind of doesn't work though when everyone agrees with everyone.

9:52 PM: I'm loving Larry King's interjections. "Gary you want to rebutt something?"

9:51 PM: Goode notes he'd only go to war if Congress makes a declaration of war. Remember the Constitution bitches.

9:49 PM: So everyone seems to be in agreement on all 3 questions so far, save Goode on legalizing drugs.

9:48 PM: Gary and Rocky are trending on twitter.

9:47 PM: These drone attacks really piss GJ off. He's got some crazy eyes going on.

9:46 PM: Gary. Strong military important but defense is the operative word, not offense. Wants a 43% reduction in military spending. Sounds like a lot right? Gary notes that's actually 2003 spending levels. Is your mind blown yet?

9:45 PM: 3rd question, US military role in the world. Goode

9:43 PM: Ooooh RIP Whitney. Gary just brought up the diva's use of drugs, didn't get to make his point though.

9:42 PM: Gary Johnnson, I have a story to share with you---Larry King: We only have a minute....

9:40 PM: Jill Stein busts out her medical degree. Says its a substance that's dangerous because it's illegal. All the problems stemming from MJ use is because it's illegal. Calls out Obama: "A president on Day one, if she wanted too could do...." Notes the important economic benefits of regulating MJ and hemp.

9:38 PM: Gary Johnson, libertarian, guess how he feels about drugs? Not for advocating drug use but says it's a family/personal issue not something that belongs in criminal justice system. Arresting 1.8M people a year on drug-related crime? Fact-checkers? 

9:36 PM: Goode says he's not for decriminalization of drugs but notes it's a state issue. Is for reducing the money going to fund the war on drugs though. Tangential segue into planned parenthood. Some boos. I don't agree with him but this is what's great about this debate. Folks aren't afraid to say what they truly think. Honest opinions.

9:35 PM: Rocky supports decriminalization of the ganja and other drugs. Sweet. Treat drug use and abuse as public health and education issue. 5% of the world's population yet 20% of the world's prison population, most of them druggies. Fact checkers?

9:33 PM: And now back to the second question re: drugs. Can't wait to hear Gary on this one.

9:32 PM: Gary Johnson speaking--> We should not bomb Iran. Bring troops home tomorrow. Marriage equality on par with civil rights. Legalize it baby. Repeal Patriot Act (huuuuge applause here). Balanced budget.

9:29 PM: Lots of applause for Rocky. Goode delivering his opening statements. Notes 4 differences from Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum--> Balance the budget; moratorium on green card admissions to US (limited applause); end superPACs; term limits in Congress (I can get behind that one)

9:27 PM: Rocky talks about wall street fat cats. This is what popped into my head.

9:26 PM: Larry points out he didn't forget the opening statements. It was not in his notes

9:25 PM: Scratch that. Larry forgot to do opening statements (could make an old person reference here but I won't). Doing opening statements first. 

9:24 PM: In what ways does war on drugs impact Americans? Is there a better way to deal with issue of drug use in America?

9:23 PM: Gary Johnson says police state regardless of who wins (Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum). Getting really heated about use of drones. Large applause.

9:22 PM: Shot of the crowd. No suits and ties here.

9:21 PM: Rocky calls for free and equal access to airwaves. I bet Gary is shaking his head. Goode's turn, opposes PACs.

9:20 PM: Jill Stein points out she got arrested at the Hofstra debate for trying to join Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum in their super secret cool people only club

9:19 PM: Does this question need a one minute response.

9:18 PM: Gary Johnson, "I've always been pro-choice regarding EVERYTHING!" Haha!!! Just compared Romney and Obama to Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum.

9:17 PM: It's really important to Larry to know what former party each candidate belonged to prior to joining these 3rd parties. 

9:15 PM: So I am not on board with a lot of Virgil Goode's ideas but damn it all I loves me some of that accent (I'm a Georgia girl). Goode doesn't agree with a top-two system (no surprise again). Smartly notes leaving states to choose whether or not they want top-2

9:14 PM: Rocky, "I've had it with the Democratic Party"

9:13 PM: Rocky also opposes. Duh again. Starting to rip into Obama though. Reference South African apartheid??

9:10 PM: Jill Stein opposes a top two primary system. Duh. Isn't that why they're here? To be honest, this is a lame question.

9:08 PM: Gary Johnson introduced last. Biggest applause of group. First question: really long and confusing, something about having a top two primary system

9:07 PM: Larry going over rules. 6 questions total. All submitted via social media 2 minutes per candidate. 2 minutes closing. 

9:06 PM: Introducing Larry King. He tells his humble followers "down"

9:04 PM: How much do you think the candidates will rip into each other versus Obama/Romney

9:03 PM: Big applause for Tobin's opening remarks. Claims debate is the first of it's kind. Fact checkers??

9:01 PM: The debate has technically started. Someone forgot to tell Larry. This is already funnier than the other debates. This intro is pretty dang sweet.

9:00 PM: Larry King asking if applause is okay. Tells the audience they don't have to keep quiet. Raise the roof!!

8:58 PM: Two minutes biotches!!!!

8:54 PM: I like this question. I'm sure people want to askronpaulthis....

8:52 PM: A lot of folks here arguing to end the electoral college. All you intro to polisci college kids sound off below pros and cons on this.

8:47 PM: I must say it's cool it's streamed online but technology seems to be spotty. Random volume changes, etc. I'm hoping that at 9pm when it starts things go smoothly. 

Also, sadly #debate and #askemthislarry are not trending on twitter yet. Adam Lambert? Really? : (

8:43 PM: Sorry I haven't been covering the panel. Focusing on the debate only (figured most of you don't care about that either). Less than 20 minutes till showtime! Do you think Romney and Obama are watching this?

8:01 PM: Oooooo. Over at Free & Equal Live they are hosting a pre-debate panel. They just said there will be a special guest at the end. Wonder who it will be....  

7:51 PM: A little over an hour to go till tonight's 3rd party presidential debate. I'll send $10 to whomever can accurately guess how many people will actually tune in (to the nearest thousand-- Price is Right style i.e. no overbidding...)