Today, September 14, 2016, Gary Johnson has a full-page advertisement in the New York Times which is an open letter to the private Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD). In the letter, Johnson explains the reasons he should be included in the presidential debates. Most notably is that 62 percent of Americans feel Johnson should be included in the debates.
Currently, Johnson is falling short of the CPD’s arbitrary requirement that a candidate show at least a 15 percent result in five particular polls. He is at 9.2 percent in those five polls; however, Johnson is on the ballot in all 50 states. This is no small feat for a Libertarian Party candidate due to the extra hoops Libertarian candidates need to jump through in order to be on the ballot in many states throughout the country.
Johnson has been rising in the polls recently due to recent media attention to his race. Still, mostly because he is not reported on alongside Trump and Clinton by the mainstream media, 66 percent of Americans do not know who Johnson is. Johnson is also the fittest and healthiest of the three major candidates at a time when the other two’s health and age are being brought into question.
The first presidential debate is scheduled for September 26, 2016, at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump are already confirmed. It will be up to the CPD Board as to whether to include Johnson.
The New York Times open letter by the Johnson campaign reads:
Dear Members of the Commission:
We are the nominees for President and Vice-President of the United States for the Libertarian Party and we will appear in November on the ballots of all 50 states and the District of Columbia. We each served as Republican Governors of overwhelmingly Democratic states and were re-elected to second terms by the voters in those states.
In a few days, you will make your ruling whether or not we will be allowed on the presidential debate stage to make our case to the American voters. The majority of the people are not happy with the two major party candidates and have been clear in their desire to hear from a credible alternative. How clear? Quinnipiac University found on August 25, that 62 percent of voters stated Governor Gary Johnson should
Quinnipiac University found on August 25, that 62 percent of voters stated Governor Gary Johnson should be included in the debates. That poll, along with others showing similar results, must be taken into consideration. We are surging among millennials, Latinos and active-duty members of the military.
A survey of more than 70,000 voters just published by the Washington Post showed support for our ticket at double digits in 42 states, at more than 15 percent in fifteen states (namely Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming – a good number of which are so-called “swing states”), and 19 percent or more in four states. Our ticket is clearly a factor in the presidential election and should be represented in the debates. And this view is becoming the consensus. Major newspapers such as the Chicago Tribune, the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Boston Herald
Major newspapers such as the Chicago Tribune, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, and the Boston Herald have argued for our inclusion. And for good reason. We are successful Governors who have achieved greater support by far in relation to campaign dollarsspent than either the Republican or Democrat – and a majority of Americans want and deserve to hear what we have to say.
We understand your reasons for basing debate inclusion on the 5 national polls of your choosing. But much has changed since 1992. The conditions of the presidential election of 2016 are extraordinary and without precedent. The collective destiny of millions of American voters now comes down to the methodologies of pollsters, the handful of respondents surveyed and the board members, directors and co-chairmen of your organization. America has stated that’s too great a responsibility to reside in the hands of so small a number of people.
We have done the work required to appear on the ballot in all 50 states and because we are polling in double digits in the majority of those states, we respectfully propose the following: Put a third podium on stage for the debate scheduled on September 26th. Allow us to make our case to the American people. If, in the polls that follow, we fail to meet that 15% standard, we’ll make no further efforts for inclusion in subsequent debates.
Your board was empaneled to ensure fairness in the political process. This is an unparalleled moment in our nation’s history and the eyes of the world are upon all of us. We invite you to be on the right side of that history. And so, we formally ask: You in?