Libertarian Gary Johnson and the Green Party's Jill Stein earned the chance to participate in a second third-party presidential debate scheduled to take place Oct. 30 in Washington, D.C., according to the Free and Equal Election Foundation, which is organizing the event.
Registered viewers of the foundation's first 2012 debate voted for their top two choices through an online instant-runoff election, and of the four candidates, Johnson and Stein won. In addition to Johnson and Stein, the previous Free and Equal debate featured Justice Party candidate Rocky Anderson and Virgil Goode of the Constitution Party. Former CNN host Larry King moderated the event.
The online instant-runoff election resulted in the following vote totals: Johnson 28,149; Stein 15,305; Anderson 4,382; Goode 2,698.
During the first debate, Johnson and Stein both called for marijuana legalization and agreed that special interests control Washington. But the two candidates showed strong differences on other issues. Stein proposed free health care and higher education for all U.S. citizens, as well as a "Green New Deal" that she said could totally eliminate unemployment by creating clean-energy jobs. Johnson said he would drastically reduce spending, in part by slashing the military budget and overhauling entitlement programs.
The second debate will take place at the Washington studio of RT (Russia Today), a multilingual television network funded by the Russian government. The network describes itself as an "autonomous non-profit organization."
Free and Equal has said it will broadcast the debate live at www.freeandequal.org/live and through RT America's YouTube channel.