Third-Party Candidates Don’t Make Debate Cut

     (CN) – The Commission on Presidential Debates announced Friday that Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein failed to make the cut for the first presidential debate on Sept. 26, dealing a significant blow for their campaigns.
     Johnson and Stein satisfied two of the criteria necessary to participate – that they be constitutionally eligible and have achieved ballot access in a sufficient number of states to win a theoretical Electoral College majority, the commission said.
     However, neither met the threshold on polling.
     With respect to that criterion, the commission said it based its decision on five polls ABC-Washington Post; CBS-New York Times; CNN-Opinion Research Corporation; Fox News; and NBC-Wall Street Journal which were selected based on the reliable frequency of their polling and sample size used by the polling organization; the soundness of the survey methodology employed by the polling organization; and the longevity and reputation of the polling organization.
     “[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%),” the commission said in a written statement. “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 said Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have been formally invited to participate in the first presidential debate later this month. Their running mates, Tim Kaine and Mike Pence, have been invited to participate in the vice presidential debate on Oct. 4.

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