Jon Stewart to Moderate 2016 Presidential Debate?

A petition to make Jon Stewart a presidential debate moderator is currently the fastest growing on Change.org.

The petition, which asks the Commission on Presidential Debates to consider Jon Stewart as a moderator for one of the three major 2016 presidential debates, has garnered nearly 170,000 signatures.*

Most of the petition’s signatures were added in just the last day. Wednesday morning, the petition stood at 6,000 signatures. Since then it’s seen that total increase by more than 2500%.*

Stewart was awarded the Peabody Award – which recognizes distinguished and meritorious public service by American radio and television stations – for The Daily Show’s “Indecision” coverage of the 2000 and 2004 presidential races.

Mariel Waters, the petition starter, cites those awards as one of the reasons Stewart is qualified to moderate a debate, along with his experience interviewing “15 heads of state, 22 members of the United States Cabinet, 32 members of the United States Senate, 7 members of the United States House of Representatives, and scores of other political leaders from this country and around the world” on The Daily Show.

Want Jon Stewart to moderate a presidential debate? Show your support here.

Waters told a New Jersey radio station that the idea for her petition came from to two Change.org petitions she saw in 2012 that called on Stewart to moderate a presidential debate. While those petitions didn’t win, she notes another presidential debate moderator petition that did win in 2012.

During the last presidential election cycle, three high school students – Emma Axelrod, Sammi Siegel, and Elena Tsemberis – started a petition asking for a woman to moderate a presidential debate after learning that a woman hadn’t moderated a U.S. general election presidential debate since 1992.

After generating more than 180,000 signatures across two petitions, the girls achieved victory when the Commission on Presidential Debates announced that Candy Crowley would moderate the second presidential debate.

*This article was published originally on August 20, 2015 at 7 AM. Signatures and signature growth were updated on August 21 at 10:30 AM.