76% Want Four-Person Debates, Why Are Establishment Elites Preventing It - NationofChange | Progressive Change Through Positive Action
Libertarian Gary Johnson did not reach the 15% threshold for inclusion in presidential debates in the latest Suffolk University/USA TODAY national poll. This is a disappointment to voters, 76% of whom believe that third-party candidates like Johnson and Green Party nominee Jill Stein should be able to share the stage with Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump this fall.
The large majority of voters said that a third-party candidate who is certified on a majority of state ballots should be included in the national political conversation, 17% said they should not be included in the debates, and 7% were undecided. It’s clear that the voting public would like to welcome — with open arms — serious third-party candidates. Johnson claims he’ll be on all 50 state ballots, and it appears Stein will be on more than 80% when all of the legal challenges and appeals have concluded.
For the record, the poll showed that, in a four-way presidential ballot test that included Johnson and Stein, Clinton (42%) led Trump (35%), with Johnson receiving 9%, Stein 4% and 10% undecided. That 9% was a credible finding for Johnson but far below the 15% threshold he must show to get by the national TV debate gatekeepers.
Although he trails the front-runners in nearly every category, Johnson did break into the double-digit column in some demographics. Among men, he’s polling at 13%, and he is favored by 12% of voters in Western states, perhaps not surprising given that his home state is New Mexico. Fourteen percent of those who feel the U.S. economy is in stagnation prefer Johnson. Among voters ages 18-34 he polls at 18%, and he polls at 19%, well above the 15% threshold, among independents.