Open letter to Utah TV stations: Host third party debates

I took a brief break from work to put some finishing touches on the following letter. I just got done reaching out to my friends at Utah television stations and sending each of them a copy to pass along to their respective news directors. Here's hoping something comes of this!

If you haven't signed the petition or joined our Facebook group, please do. Thanks for your support and uniting in this great cause! I will keep you posted on how things progress.

Dear KSL, KUTV, FOX13, ABC4, and KBYU,

Major television stations and networks need to begin hosting debates between third party presidential candidates. The Republican candidates had their debates. The Democrats have had theirs. Now it is time to give the proper attention to third party candidates. I am contacting you because I believe Utah is the best market to get the ball rolling on this. I can guarantee you that if you air such a debate, people will watch. There are at least three huge reasons that this is a credible guarantee.

First, two of the major third party candidates, namely Gary Johnson and Evan McMullin, have their headquarters in Utah. Whether Utah likes it or not, it has become the front lines for third party campaigns.

Second, a recent poll suggests that 24% of Utahns are planning on voting third party and 14% remain undecided. We’re talking about hundreds of thousands of people in Utah alone who are seriously considering alternatives to Trump and Hillary. Nationally, 44% of Americans want a third party candidate in the general election, according to a CNN poll. This comes as no surprise when polling also suggests that a super majority of Americans dislike Trump and a super majority of Americans distrust Clinton.

Third, thousands of people, nationwide, have signed various petitions demanding third party candidates be allowed debate access. See, e.g., Include All Qualified Candidates in 2016 Presidential Debates, 15,325 supporters; Allow third party candidates into the general election debates, 6790 supporters; Let Viable Third-Party Candidates Into the General Election Presidential Debates, 15326 supporters; Have third parties represented in the 2016 Presidential election debates, 977 supporters; Add Candidates Jill Stein and Gary Johnson to the National Presidential TV Debates, 5737 supporters; Hold Inclusive Presidential Debates in 2016, 1780 supporters; We Will Never Vote for Hillary: INCLUDE JILL STEIN IN PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES, 64,304 supporters; etc.

It may be true that neither Clinton nor Trump nor the Commission on Presidential Debates would agree to a debate with a third party candidate. But that does not have to mean that there cannot be debates. There is no reason for not hosting separate debates between third party candidates, in addition to whatever debates may take place with Trump or Hillary in the future. Millions of Americans want to vote third party but need avenues, like debates, to weigh third party options against one another. Because of this, I started my own petition, only a few days ago, specifically aimed at bringing about debates between third party candidates. It already has hundreds of signatures.

What would it take to make this happen? What are your hesitations to this? Whatever they are, let me know and I will do all I can to rally folks to overcome any roadblocks.


Adam Balinski

Media contacts for each third party campaign:
Gary Johnson -
Evan McMullin -
Darrell Castle -
Jill Stein -

Dig this sort of discussion? Then check out this blog post, which helped get this all going.


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