Gary Johnson will need shockingly high polling numbers to make the first presidential debate. The rules state that candidates need to average at least 15% in national polls and they need be on the ballot in enough states to win. Gary Johnson will be the ballot in all 50 states but in order to make it into the debates he actually needs 25% in the polls, Reason.com explains why:
The Libertarian nominee set a new high in the poll, at 9 percent (Hillary Clinton was at 46 percent, Donald Trump at 41, and Jill Stein at 2), but that only brings his five-poll average to 9.0 percent, with less than a week to go before the CPD’s deadline of “mid September.” With only two of the other polls (CBS News and NBC/Wall Street Journal) due for a new survey between now and then, that means Johnson would have to average 25 percent in each to achieve a five-poll average of 15.0 percent. He has yet to produce a national number higher than 13 percent. It’s no wonder that the Johnson/Bill Weld ticket signaled a new debate strategy yesterday in New York: Drum up outrage at their non-inclusion by hosting live answer sessions outside of each debate this fall.
Gary Johnson had a little momentum about a month and a half ago, but he seemed to do everything in his power to shoot himself in the foot. His vice presidential candidate Bill Weld took up pro-gun control positions and did little to explain how he was different from Hillary Clinton. Gary Johnson capped it all off with a gaffe about the Syrian city of Aleppo. Both Johnson and Weld tried to appeal to Bernie Sander’s voters and pretty much ignored the #NeverTrump crowd. Since the media saw Johnson’s campaign as a threat to Hillary Clinton they gave him as little air time as possible.
Gary Johnson and Bill Weld squandered an incredible opportunity to put the Libertarian Party in the debates.