Johnson, Stein fail to qualify for first debate

Sep 19, 2016, 00:38

The Granite State paper has endorsed Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and his running mate, former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld.

As recent polls show that Republican nominee Donald Trump is slowly gaining on Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, other data is showing that Clinton has one other, and very important, demographic that she really needs to work on before election day.

Johnson focused many of his remarks on giving power to the states instead of the federal government.

Some surprising new polling numbers are out showing Libertarian party candidate Gary Johnson doing well with independent voters and Donald Trump has more than doubled his support among African American voters.

The suggestion is clear: If voters knew the Libertarian Johnson, who is on the ballot for president, he'd be at 30 percent, eligible for the first debate September 26 and in contention for the White House. The Libertarian Party technically secured nationwide ballot access in 2000, but in Arizona the state's Libertarian Party opted for someone else.

In a session with the Daily News and Inquirer editorial boards, Johnson said, "If you think either Hillary or Trump is going to bring everybody'll be worse than ever". When Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein are in the mix, however, Clinton's lead shrinks to just two points.

Media have a responsibility to inform the electorate and a duty to put pressure on the debate commission to include all candidates with a mathematical chance to win. Johnson only is polling at 9.1 percent nationwide.

To qualify, candidates must have at least 15 percent support in an average of five major polls. Their running mates, Tim Kaine and Mike Pence, have been invited to participate in the vice presidential debate on October 4.

The CBS News/New York Times poll released Thursday found 8 percent of likely voters support Johnson (11 percent of registered voters) and 2 percent of likely voters back Stein (3 percent of registered voters). The American people and journalists should use this as a wake-up call to get the focus of the election back on track.

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