Having not met the 15 percent polling requirement, Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson and Green Party nominee Jill Stein will not be participating in the first presidential debate.
According to the Commission on Presidential Debates, Johnson’s polling average was only 8.4 percent, while Stein came in at 3.2 percent.
If their polling average rises to 15 percent, they could still qualify for the second or third debates, but that is not expected to happen.
According to Johnson, he was excluded. Disregarding his low polling numbers, he said in a statement, “I would say I am surprised that the CPD has chosen to exclude me from the first debate, but I’m not. After all, the Commission is a private organization created 30 years ago by the Republican and Democratic parties for the clear purpose of taking control of the only nationally-televised presidential debates voters will see. At the time of its creation, the leaders of those two parties made no effort to hide the fact that they didn’t want any third party intrusions into their shows.”
Johnson reportedly filed a lawsuit against the Commission on Presidential Debates in September 2015, trying to change the qualification rules, but a federal judge dismissed that suit in August.
Both the Libertarian and the Green Party campaigns have protested against the commission’s requirements, claiming it is limiting voters’ options unfairly.
The three presidential debates are scheduled for:
September 26 Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY
October 9 – Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO
October 19 – University of Nevada-Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV
There will be one vice-presidential debate between Democratic Virginia Senator Tim Kaine and Republican Indiana Governor Mike Pence on October 4, at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia.
The Hill reported that a Morning Consult poll earlier this month showed that 52 percent of voters wanted Johnson on the stage at the first debate, and 47 percent said the same about Stein.
Those numbers don’t’ match their meager polling averages.
Clinton’s polling average is reported at 43 percent, and Donald Trump at 40.4 percent.
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