Despite an unprecedented growth in support, and being on the ballot in all 50 states, Libertarian Presidential hopeful, Gary Johnson has been disqualified from appearing on the debate stage next to Trump and Clinton.
According to the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), Johnson did not achieve the necessary 15% in 5 polls necessary to appear, as reported by Politico.
“[T]he Board determined that the polling averages called for in the third criterion are as follows: Hillary Clinton (43%), Donald Trump (40.4%), Gary Johnson (8.4%) and Jill Stein (3.2%). Accordingly, Hillary Clinton and her running mate, Tim Kaine, and Donald Trump and his running mate, Mike Pence, qualify to participate in the September 26 presidential debate and the October 4 vice-presidential debate, respectively. No other candidates satisfied the criteria for inclusion in the September 26 and October 4 debates. The criteria will be reapplied to all candidates in advance of the second and third presidential debates,” the Commission announced.
Some have claimed that the criteria for appearing on the debate stage is too high, and figures such as Glenn Beck, Bernie Sanders, and media outlets and union leaders have mentioned that Johnson should be there. The CPD has not budged from their position, despite these calls, as well as lawsuits. The CPD is unlikely to do so, and as I’ve discussed in a previous article, the reasons are somewhat shady.
Johnson himself has released a statement, relaying the fact that he’s not necessarily surprised by the CPD keeping him out.
“I would say I am surprised that the CPD has chosen to exclude me from the first debate, but I’m not,” the statement read. “The only time a third candidate has been allowed on the stage was 1992, when both parties wanted him on the stage for their own purposes. It should be noted that, when [Ross] Perot was allowed on the stage, polls showed his support to be in single digits, below where Johnson and Weld are currently polling.”