It was a week of highs and lows for the Libertarian Party presidential ticket of Gov. Gary Johnson and Gov. Bill Weld.
First time since 1996 third party candidate has been on every state ballot
The Libertarian Party ticket will be on the ballot in all fifty states, plus the District of Columbia. This will be the first time since 1996 that a third party presidential ticket has appeared on every state ballot.
With a majority of Americans wanting a choice other than Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, today we now know for certain that on Election Day, every voter in America will have that alternative option.
— Gary Johnson
Johnson and Stein are not invited to first debate
That was the good news. The bad news was that the Commission on Presidential Debates announced that only Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will appear on stage for the first presidential debate on September 26. The rules, as defined by the Commission, require that in order to appear on the debate stage a candidate needs to average at least 15 percent support in several national polls by September 15. As of that date, Gov. Johnson averaged 8.4 percent in the polls while Green Party candidate Jill Stein averaged 3.2 percent.
The combined support for a third party ticket has reached 11.6% of the eligible voting population of 219 million Americans, which means that more than 25 million Americans will not be permitted to hear their preferred candidate speak at the debates.
Johnson and Stein have accused the Commission, which is a non-profit organization controlled by the Democratic and Republican parties, of being biased against third party candidates.
Poll shows that 76% of voters believe third party candidate should be in debate
A recent USA Today/Suffolk University poll showed that 76% of voters believed that if a third party presidential candidate qualified for a majority of state ballots that they should be included in the debates. The Johnson/Weld ticket will be on all 50 state ballots while the Stein/Baraka ticket will be on the ballot in 45 states.
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.
— Gary Johnson
Mr. Johnson, who has summited Mt. Everest, has shown that he is a man who does not give up. He vowed to continue working to get included in the next debate saying, "There are more polls and more debates, and we plan to be on the debate stage in October."