The Commission on Presidential Debates has announced that Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and their running mates will be the only candidates allowed to participate in the first debates. Gary Johnson and Jill Stein will be excluded from the debate after not receiving the mandatory 15 percent support in recent polls selected by the commission.
It is, however, still possible for both Gary and Jill to be invited to the Oct. 9 presidential debate, but only if they are able to increase their poll numbers by that point. Johnson remains optimistic:
“Our polling is ticking up,” Johnson said. “It’s ratcheting up. And so if we’re not in the first debate, there’s a good chance we’ll be in the next debate. But I’ll just ask you this: When you’re representing 13 million people, how do you discount that? How do you say 13 million people shouldn’t be represented on the stage?
Many Johnson supporters will be saddened by this news, but few will be shocked. It is well known that the Commission on Presidential Debates has been held hostage by the two party system and that Johnson would be fighting an uphill battle to get into the debates.