In addition, it is unclear how Ventura or anyone else could successfully run as independent presidential candidates under the current electoral system. Even if Ventura got on the ballot in all 50 American states, he would still lack the resources and media exposure, ground games etc. of the Republicans and Democrats (in which the Romney and Obama campaigns raised over one billion each not including Super PACs). The four national presidential debates are determined by media corporations and the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), so it unclear how Ventura or any other independent candidate could get into those debates. Current American legislation states clearly that there is no legal requirement that the presidential debates include more than two candidates, and the media has no legal requirement for equal airtime and equal opportunities when it comes to debates:
From the 2012 FDA Audit Report on the United States:
Broadcast stations must provide equal airtime and equal opportunities to all registered federal candidates. The only exception to equal airtime and equal opportunities is during bona fide news programming, such as the appearance of a candidate on bona fide newscast, interview, documentary, or on the spot news event (including debates, political conventions and related incidental activities) (The Media Bureau, 2008 and U.S. Code, Title 47, Article 315).
Any corporation or labor organization may donate funds to support a debate conducted by a nonprofit organization. The debate must not support or oppose any candidate or party, be sponsored by a broadcaster, newspaper, magazine, other circulation periodical publication, and include at least two candidates who meet face to face, does not promote one candidate over the other. In a primary election, organizations staging a debate may restrict candidates to those seeking nomination of one party, and in a general election may not use nomination of a particular party as the sole criterion for debate participants. Staging organizations must use preestablished objective criteria to determine participants (Code of Federal Regulations, Section 114.4(f)).
In 2008, Nader will all his popularity received a mere 0.5 percent of the popular vote, and in 2012, all third-party presidential candidates combined received a mere 1.65 percent of the popular vote (without considering non-voters).
The FDA supports a ban on corporations and trade unions from making political contributions and third-party expenditures, and the FDA supports caps on contributions which are reflective of per capita income levels, and campaign expenditure limits which are reasonably attainable by all registered candidates and parties.
The 2012 FDA audit report on the United States measured systematic bias to special and minority interests over the interests of the American electorate:
FDA Media Advisory on the American Electoral System
Mr. Stephen Garvey, Foundation for Democratic Advancement, Executive Director
Question to Readers:
What will it take to progress American democracy from a two-party system to a competitive multi-party system?