“Does America Need A Third Party?” Open to Debate Tapes Virtual Debate Wednesday, August 23

August 15, 2023
Shore Fire Media Press Release
Andrew Yang argues YES; Daniel DiSalvo argues NO


In advance of a presidential election in which polls show many voters less than thrilled with either leading candidate, groups like No Labels are calling for third-party “unity tickets” to be added to 2024 ballots. Those who support third parties say that the two-party system breeds polarized partisanship and hinders governance, while a third party would create non-partisan solutions and be more representative of a wider range of ideologies. Those in opposition say adding a third party encourages vote-splitting, lowering the threshold of votes necessary for unpopular candidates to win, and that the current system fosters stability, simplifies voting decisions, and encourages broad-based, moderate policies. In that context, award-winning debate series Open to Debate (formerly known as Intelligence Squared U.S.) will tape a virtual debate on the question: “Does America Need A Third Party?”

Arguing “YES” is former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, founder of the Forward Party, a centrist political organization. Arguing “NO” is CUNY political science professor and Manhattan Institute senior fellow Daniel DiSalvo, whose research focuses on American political parties, elections, labor unions, state government, and public policy.

While the debate will not be released widely until September 8, via public radio, video and the Open to Debate podcast, press are invited to attend and ask questions at the live virtual taping on Wednesday, August 23 at 11:00 AM ET. Media can email raypadgett@shorefire.com for virtual access.


* Andrew Yang: Founder of the Forward Party, Former Presidential Candidate 
Andrew Yang is a businessman, lawyer, former tech entrepreneur, and politician who founded the Forward Party in 2021, a centrist political organization. Yang was a Democratic presidential candidate for the 2020 election and has previously run for Mayor of New York City. Prior to that, he worked at multiple startups, worked as the CEO of Manhattan Prep, a test prep company, and later founded the nonprofit Ventures for America, which places top college graduates in start-ups for two years in emerging US cities to generate job growth and train the next generation of entrepreneurs. This prompted the Obama administration to name him a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship in 2015. He’s also been named a Champion of Change and one of Fast Company‘s “100 Most Creative People in Business.” He was also named a board member of the National Advisory Council for Innovation and Entrepreneurship from 2016 to 2018. Following his run for president, he formed the non-profit Humanity Forward, which successfully lobbied Congress for direct cash relief during the pandemic while simultaneously distributing over $8 million directly to struggling families. He is the author of five books, including “The Last Election” (with Stephen Marche) and “Forward: Notes on the Future of Our Democracy.” Yang received a BA from Brown University and a JD from Columbia Law School.

* Daniel DiSalvo: Senior Fellow at Manhattan Institute, Political Science Professor at City College of New York–CUNY 
Daniel DiSalvo is the professor and chair of pollical science at the City College of New York – CUNY, along with a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. His research focuses on American political parties, elections, labor unions, state government, and public policy. He currently serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Policy History. In 2014, he received a Fulbright Award to teach US history and politics at Universidad de San Andres in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He previously held visiting appointments at Princeton University’s James Madison Program, the CUNY Graduate Center, and the Universidad de Los Andes in Colombia. He is the author of “Engines of Change: Party Factions in American Politics, 1868–2010” and “Government Against Itself: Public Union Power and Its Consequences,” as well as the former co-editor of “The Forum: A Journal of Applied Research in Contemporary Politics.” DiSalvo has written for multiple academic and popular publications, including National Affairs, City Journal, Political Science Quarterly, American Political Thought, Commentary, The Weekly Standard, Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News, and New York Post.

Open to Debate addresses a fundamental problem in America: the extreme polarization of our nation and our politics. We are the nation’s only nonpartisan, debate-driven media organization dedicated to bringing multiple viewpoints together for a constructive, balanced, respectful exchange of ideas. Open to Debate is a platform for intellectually curious and open-minded people to engage with others holding opposing views on complex issues. We know debate works to find common ground: On average, 32% of the Open to Debate audience changes their mind on contentious topics after hearing a debate. That’s the power of debate done right, and at scale, it can change the direction we’re headed in America. Open to Debate is broadcast as a weekly public radio program, carried on NPR stations including WNYC (#1 in the nation). Open to Debate is made available as a podcast, video series, and digital platform, and records episodes with live audiences nationwide. Visit opentodebate.org to become a member, access an archive of more than 220 debates, and attend live events.


For more information on Open to Debate, contact Ray Padgett (raypadgett@shorefire.com) or Mark Satlof (msatlof@shorefire.com) at Shore Fire Media.