PRESS RELEASE from the Commission on Presidential Debates

For immediate release
October 31, 2011  
Contact: Janet Brown 

Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr., and Michael D. McCurry, co‐chairmen of the non‐partisan, non‐profit Commission on Presidential Debates (“CPD”) today announced sites and dates for three presidential and one vice presidential debates during the 2012 general election. The dates and sites are:

First presidential debate:
Wednesday, October 3
University of Denver, Denver, CO

Vice presidential debate:
Thursday, October 11
Centre College, Danville, KY

Second presidential debate (town meeting format):
Tuesday, October 16
Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY

Third presidential debate:
Monday, October22
Lynn University, Boca Raton, FL

Washington University in St. Louis, MO will serve as the backup site.

The Commission also released the 2012 Candidate Selection Criteria, which will be used to determine who is invited to participate in the general election debates. In addition to being Constitutionally eligible, candidates must appear on a sufficient number of state ballots to have a mathematical chance of winning a majority vote in the Electoral College, and have a level of support of at least 15% (fifteen percent) of the national electorate as determined by five selected national public opinion polling organizations, using the average of those organizations’ most recent publicly‐reported results at the time of the determination. The Gallup Organization will advise the CPD in the application of its Criteria to polling data as it did in 2000, 2004, and 2008. A copy of the Criteria is attached.

The CPD will announce formats for the four debates in the first part of 2012, as well as plans for Internet‐based initiatives. Moderators for the debates will be chosen in the summer of 2012.

The CPD was established in 1987 and sponsored all presidential and vice presidential general election debates since 1988. More information can be found at

Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr.
Michael D. McCurry

Executive Director
Janet H. Brown
Honorary Co-chairmen
Gerald R. Ford†
Jimmy Carter
Ronald Reagan†
William J. Clinton
Co-Chairman Emeritus
Paul G. Kirk, Jr.
Howard G. Buffett
John C. Danforth
John Griffen
Antonia Hernandez
Reverend John I. Jenkins
Newton N. Minow
Richard D. Parsons
Dorothy Ridings
Alan K. Simpson

October 31, 2011 PRESS RELEASES

The University of Denver will host the first presidential debate of 2012.

The first of three 2012 presidential debates will be held at the University of Denver on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012.   

The debate will be held in Magness Arena at the Daniel L. Ritchie Center for Sports & Wellness on the DU campus.    

This will be the first presidential debate ever held in Colorado, and the only debate held west of the Mississippi River in 2012. The University is honored to host the debate as part of our commitment to addressing the great issues of the day.

Centre College named host of 2012 Vice Presidential Debate
By Michael Strysick, Director of Communications

The Commission on Presidential Debates announced today that Centre College has been selected to host the Vice Presidential debate on Oct. 11, 2012. This will be the second of four general election debates.

In a news release announcing the host sites, Commission Executive Director Janet Brown said that Centre’s selection was based on several factors. “First, Centre did an outstanding job of hosting the 2000 Vice Presidential debate. Second, Centre’s principal players from that debate are still at the College, and we value that experience. Finally, Centre’s facilities, as good as they were in 2000, are vastly improved now.”

Centre President John A. Roush said that the College is deeply honored to host a general election debate once again. “Selecting the President and Vice President of the United States is, arguably, the most important political exercise in the world. We are grateful for this opportunity to serve our nation.” Roush continued, “When we hosted the 2000 Vice Presidential debate, Centre and Danville were by far the smallest college and town to host a general election debate, but by all accounts we set a new standard. We are proud of the confidence that the Commission has again expressed in Centre and Danville.”

Roush also looked forward to the experiences that hosting the Vice Presidential debate will provide to Centre’s students. “Of all the good things that came from our efforts in 2000, the most important and pleasing to me was the great educational opportunities provided to our students, and I look forward to an even more exciting time for Centre students in 2012.”

Centre Board of Trustees Chair Bob Brockman, of Houston, Texas, said, “Hosting the debate in 2000 energized the entire Centre community — students, faculty and staff, and trustees alike — and gave us an even greater sense that, together, there is nothing that we can’t accomplish. On behalf of the entire Centre family, I thank the Commission for this honor.”

Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges, at 42nd in the nation, and ranks 27th for best value among national liberal arts colleges. Forbes magazine ranks Centre 34th among all the nation’s colleges and universities and has named Centre in the top five among all institutions of higher education in the South for three years in a row. The 2010 Open Doors Report, published by the Institute for International Educational, ranks the College second in the nation for percentage of students who study abroad.

A highly residential liberal arts college, Centre enrolls more than 1,300 students on a park-like 160-acre campus located in Danville, Ky., in the heart of the Bluegrass region of Kentucky.

For media inquiries, please contact Dr. Michael Strysick, Director of Communications for Centre College, at 859-238-5710 or For additional information about the 2012 Vice Presidential Debate, contact Centre’s debate co-chairs Dr. Richard Trollinger, Vice President for College Relations, at 859-238-5209 or, and Dr. Clarence Wyatt, Pottinger Professor of History and Special Assistant to the President, at 859-238-5243 or

Hofstra University to Host Presidential Debate in 2012
University hosting presidential debate for second time
To be held on October 16, 2012

Monday, October 31, 2011….Today the Commission on Presidential Debates announced that it had chosen Hofstra University for the site of its October 16, 2012 Presidential Debate, which will be in the “town meeting” format.   The Commission on Presidential Debates, a nonprofit, nonpartisan corporation, has sponsored and produced every presidential and vice-presidential debate since 1988.  Hofstra University hosted the third and final presidential debate of the 2008 election cycle, between then Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain, on October 15, 2008.

"I am absolutely delighted that the Commission has chosen to return to Hofstra University for one of America's most important political events," said Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz.  "It was an extraordinary experience for our students and faculty in 2008 and allowed our community to witness, first-hand, the democratic process. I am so pleased that another generation of Hofstra students will be able to witness history and become involved in an active and meaningful way."

The University will again host an election-themed event series to inspire and engage students.  "During the last presidential election, Educate '08, our award-winning event series, gave students the opportunity to learn from some of our country's greatest political minds and journalists, to travel to primary sites, or to volunteer or intern with political or media organizations; and it touched students and faculty in almost every academic discipline,” said President Rabinowitz.  “With Hofstra's unique academic strengths and our vibrant academic programs in political science, journalism and mass media, business, medicine and law, we will take advantage of the special opportunities a presidential debate offers. In 2008, thousands of students were involved - speaking out at town hall meetings, interning and volunteering, helping with Debate Watch programs, or taking special courses, and we expect even greater participation in 2012.  We will use our experience and every opportunity to involve students, faculty and the community in this historic event."

President Rabinowitz also announced that David S. Mack, Hofstra alumnus and secretary of the Boar d of Trustees, has made a commitment to help underwrite the cost of hosting the 2012 presidential debate.  “The generosity of David Mack allows us to host an event of this magnitude, benefitting thousands of students and showcasing our great University, without using tuition dollars. We are grateful for his leadership and commitment to Hofstra and the democratic process.” 

The Peter S. Kalikow Center for the Study of the American Presidency, the Chair in Presidential Studies, our Senior Presidential Fellows (currently former Governor Howard Dean and political consultant and CNN contributor Ed Rollins) and Hofstra's presidential conferences make the University one of the very few institutions in the country with a unique focus on the presidency.  Beginning in 1982 with a conference on Franklin D. Roosevelt, Hofstra has presented a conference on each president thereafter, culminating in the 11th presidential conference, "William Jefferson Clinton: The 'New Democrat' from Hope," held in November 2005.  The George W. Bush conference is currently scheduled for 2015.

The University is also home to the interdisciplinary Center for Civic Engagement and the National Center for Suburban Studies, a non-partisan research institution dedicated to promoting objective, academically rigorous study of suburbia's problems and promise.

"Hosting the debate will allow us to showcase Hofstra University and Long Island, our nation's first suburb, to a national and international audience," said President Rabinowitz.  "We are looking forward to again welcoming journalists from around the world to our campus."

Hofstra University will again use the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex as the venue for the debate, and the adjoining Mack Physical Education Building as home for the media center, which will host hundreds of journalists from around the world and all major networks, as well as supporting services for the Commission on Presidential Debates.  Other Hofstra University facilities have been selected for support services for media and visitors. The University once again received unanimous support from local, regional, statewide and federal officials, as well as all local and regional public agencies. 

The October 15, 2008 debate at Hofstra University was a 90-minute debate (beginning at 9 p.m. Eastern) focused on the Economy and Domestic Policy, with candidates seated at a table with moderator Bob Schieffer of CBS News. Candidates questioned in turn with two-minute responses, followed by five minutes of open discussion for each question.  It was viewed by approximately 56.5 million Americans (Data provided by Nielsen Media Research).  Hofstra University also hosted the October 2010 New York State Gubernatorial Debate, in partnership with Newsday and Cablevision. 

Extended video coverage of 2008 debate week and Educate '08 highlights is available at

Information about the 2012 debate schedule and site selection process may be found at


Hofstra University, located in Hempstead, New York, approximately 25 miles east of Manhattan, is a dynamic private institution where approximately 11,500 students choose from more than 140 undergraduate and 155 graduate programs in liberal arts and sciences, business, communication, education, health and human services, and honors studies; as well as the Hofstra-North Shore LIJ School of Medicine and the Maurice A. Deane School of Law. Hofstra University, which was founded in 1935, has more than 110,000 alumni.  Hofstra offers a renowned and excellent faculty, cutting edge technology, extensive library resources, and internships and educational programs that appeal to students' interests and abilities.

About Ticket Availability

Hofstra University is very pleased to host the October 16, 2012 presidential debate. The debate itself is produced and sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), a non-partisan, non-profit organization, which controls all aspects of debate production.  Ticket availability for the debate itself will be extremely limited.

All of the tickets allocated to Hofstra University from the Commission on Presidential Debates will be distributed to current students in the days before the debate, as recommended by the CPD and consistent with past practices of debate hosts, including Hofstra in 2008. President Rabinowitz has already clearly stated that he, along with all administrators and faculty, will not take seats within the debate hall but will instead watch the debate at a campus simulcast, in order to allow the maximum number of Hofstra students to attend the debate.

All students who are interested in attending the debate should look for instructions to sign up in the fall of 2012, and not contact the CPD. Tickets will not be available through Hofstra University personnel, and tickets are not available through any means at this point in time.

Lynn University to Host Final Presidential Debate of 2012
Press conference to discuss the hosting of the debate will be held at Lynn on Wed., Nov. 2 at 10 a.m.

Lynn University has been selected as the site of the final 2012 Presidential Debate by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), to be held on October 22, 2012. 

The CPD is a nonprofit, nonpartisan corporation and has sponsored all general election presidential and vice presidential debates since 1988. Lynn University was one of 12 sites nationwide, and the only institution in Florida, under consideration to host one of three presidential, or one vice presidential debates produced by the CPD.

“Being an undergraduate or graduate student here on our campus when such an historic event takes place will provide a singular and unparalleled educational experience,” Lynn University President, Kevin M. Ross, said.

The site has already hosted a Congressional District 22 debate in October 2010 between then incumbent Ron Klein and Allen West. Lynn University submitted its application to the Commission in January 2011 and hosted staff from the Commission on Presidential Debates over the summer for an on-site survey of the proposed debate venue and campus. 

Lynn University received overwhelming and nearly unilateral support for its application from government officials at all levels, including the entire Florida Congressional Delegation, the Florida Cabinet, the leadership of the Florida legislature, former Governor Jeb Bush, former Governor and Senator Bob Graham, Palm Beach County officials, Boca Raton Mayor Susan Whelchel, and many others.

Preparing for an event of this magnitude will require the campus and community to come together now and organize for the arrival of the candidates, their campaign staff members, and thousands of national and international journalists expected to come to the area to cover the debate. 

“It is a tremendous challenge, but Lynn University will be prepared to welcome the nation to Florida for the final debate before the 2012 general election,” Ross said.

A press conference to discuss the debate has been scheduled for 10 a.m. on Wednesday, November 2 at the site of the debate, Lynn’s Keith C. & Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center. No comments about Lynn’s hosting of the debate will be made before the press conference. Media interested in attending the press conference must contact Joshua Glanzer at 561-237-7761 or to secure entry to Lynn’s campus. All media should arrive at least 20 minutes before the scheduled conference time.

A website for the 2012 Presidential Debate at Lynn University is currently under construction and will be live in the coming weeks.

PRESS RELEASE from Obama for America

For Immediate Release:

Monday, October 31, 2011




“The President looks forward to next year’s debates. Once the Republicans have selected their candidate, we will work through the details with their campaign and the Commission on Presidential Debates.”