Crossing your fingers you’ll get to see third party candidates Gary Johnson and Jill Stein share the debate stage with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump this fall? Historically, it’s a fat chance, but the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD)has announced criteria for the underdogs to take on the Republican and Democratic candidates.
Johnson, running for the Libertarian Party, and Stein, the Green Party candidate, are required to be receiving 15 percent of the country’s support to gain access to the debate stage. The five polls the CPD averages together to determine that data are as follows: ABC-Washington Post, CBS-New York Times, CNN-Opinion Research Corporation, Fox News and NBC-Wall Street Journal.
Johnson recently told Fox News’ Greg Gutfeld that he has a “better than 50 percent” chance of ending up on the debate stage. But Johnson also pretended to pick his nose on air during the interview, so we’re not sure if he was serious.
CNN reported that poll results from July 29 to Aug. 4 show Clinton has 44 percent of the country supporting her, Trump has 36 percent, Johnson has 10 percent, and Stein has 5 percent.
“If a candidate is invited to the first presidential debate, that person’s vice presidential running mate will be invited to the vice presidential debate,” the commission said. “The criteria will be reapplied between the first and second presidential debates and the second and third presidential debates.”
To partake in a debate, candidates must also be at least 35 years old, a natural born U.S. citizen, and have his/her name appear on enough state ballots to have at least a mathematical chance of securing an Electoral College majority in the 2016 general election. Stein is still urging supporters to help her get on all states ballots, while Johnson’s site asks for a $15 donation to help get him in the debates.
Trump and Clinton are locks, as they’re polling well above the required 15 percent. Gallup editor-in-chief Dr. Frank Newport advised the CPD on which polls should be used this year.
The first debate is scheduled for Sept. 26 in Hempstead, New York.