Special Report and Political Editorial Article
4:30pm CT Friday 16 September 2016
Libertarian (former Republican) Governor Gary Johnson shut out of September 26 Presidential Debate
From NY Times – excerpts…
- The first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump this month will exclude two leading third-party nominees — Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party and the Green Party’s Jill Stein — the Commission on Presidential Debates announced on Friday.
- The failure to be invited to the Sept. 26 debate at Hofstra University deals a significant blow to Mr. Johnson and Ms. Stein, who are desperate for national exposure to promote their long-shot bids for the White House. Their running mates will also not be allowed to participate in the vice-presidential debate on Oct. 4, the commission said.
- Mr. Johnson and Ms. Stein were excluded because they did not reach an average of 15 percent support in the five national polls that the commission used as a benchmark. Mr. Johnson, a former Republican governor of New Mexico who is polling in double-digits in many state polls, reached 8.4 percent and Ms. Stein reached 3.2 percent.
- Candidates from smaller parties have complained to the commission, arguing that the threshold is too high for candidates who lack vast resources or name recognition. Mr. Johnson, who has acknowledged that he has little chance of becoming president if he is not allowed to debate, has started a petition that collected more than 800,000 signatures urging the commission to include him.
One organization should not have that much power.
No doubt a debate with the other candidates would help with exposure and gain votes, but there should be other ways to make gains in this election. CNN actually tried to help with a Town Hall for Johnson and Weld, but it wasn’t enough to boost them to over 15% in the polls. It is possible the debate could have boosted them to over 15% in the polls, perhaps over 20% but not likely over 30%. Because many polls don’t include Johnson (or Stein), most voters are not even given a chance to consider them, which causes them to show low in the few polls that do include them. The mainstream news media snubs candidates who do have the potential to be better choices than candidates from the Democratic and Republican parties. The mainstream news media has too much power over U.S. elections and the candidates.
IF Clinton and Trump perform real bad during the debate, causing most voters to reject both of them, then Johnson could get a boost as result of those voters looking to him as a more reasonable choice. That is really his best hope, in my opinion. Clinton and trump need to destroy each other and look bad in the debate for Johnson to gain ground even without him participating in the debate.
Johnson and Weld are former Republican governors twice elected in blue Democrat states.
I average out to be a Centrist in such a way as to be similar to Libertarians. I’m registered as an Independent (unaffiliated) voter. At this time I’m planning to vote for Johnson-Weld on the ballot for the Libertarian Party.
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