Time is getting short for Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson to qualify for a spot on the national debate stage. The Commission on Presidential Debates, which is the organization created and controlled by the Democrat and Republican parties to oversee presidential debates, has set a requirement that to appear in the debates, a candidate must be polling at least a 15% average in five national polls taken closest to the debate date.
Polls show third parties candidates with combined polling of 13%
The most recent Real Clear Politics poll average gives Mr. Johnson 7.6% support, with Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate polling an average of 3.2%. However, two recent polls give both a better showing with Fox News and USA Today/Suffolk each having Gary Johnson with 9% and Jill Stein at 4%. That still leaves both third party candidates short of the 15% threshold, but their combined averages put them at 13%, which suggests that the numbers of Americans who are interested in hearing an alternative message are close to the 15% threshold.
A new Morning Consult survey shows that the majority of voters the firm polled, 52 percent, support an appearance from the former two-term governor of New Mexico at the first general-election contest, slated for September 26. It’s a small victory for Johnson: Though it’s unlikely the organization sponsoring the debate will actually let him in, these findings fuel his argument that there’s voter appetite for seeing a new face on stage. - The Atlantic
Reuters daily tracking poll has Clinton and Trump in virtual tie
The most recent Reuters daily tracking poll of likely voters has the race between Trump and Clinton in a virtual tie with Clinton at 39.7% and Trump at 39.1%. That would suggest that about 20% of the voters are not happy with either choice and will give at least some consideration to either Johnson or Stein.
Without the ability to appear on the national debate stage Johnson himself has admitted that it would be “game over” for him having any chance of winning the election. He and Jill Stein will get protest votes from those that can’t support either Trump or Clinton which may well determine the outcome of the election.
Idea floated for a debate between Gary Johnson and Bernie Sanders
The Hill has floated the idea of a non-sanctioned debate between Gary Johnson and Bernie Sanders, arguing that would be both interesting and productive. While it would not directly affect the presidential election, it would be a marvelous exercise in political theater with two articulate representatives of differing viewpoints each presenting their unique points of view.
By contrast, Johnson and Sanders are supported by large numbers of citizens who consider their preferred leader among the best of the best, not the lesser of two evils. The more the voices of Gary Johnson and Bernie Sanders are heard in our national debates, the better it is for truth, justice and the American way. — Brent Budowsky – The Hill