Commission on Presidential Debates

The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) has sponsored U.S. general election presidential debates since 1988. The CPD's stated mission is found on its Web site (

The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) was established in 1987 to ensure that debates, as a permanent part of every general election, provide the best possible information to viewers and listeners. Its primary purpose is to sponsor and produce debates for the United States presidential and vice presidential candidates and to undertake research and educational activities relating to the debates. The organization…is a nonprofit, nonpartisan corporation.

As noted in the mission statement, the CPD was formed in 1987. The then chairs of the Republican and Democratic National Committees, Frank Fahrenkopf and Paul Kirk, created the Commission based on recommendations from two ...

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