Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson should not be allowed to participate in the 2016 presidential debates.
A recent poll conducted by Quinnipiac University found that 62 percent of Americans want to see Johnson take the stage for the debates, currently set to include only Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump.
Among voters 18 to 34, the desire to hear Johnson speak in televised debates increases to 82 percent, according to an article posted on A Libertarian Future’s website.
Regardless, the Libertarian candidate should not participate in the upcoming, high-profile debates.
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The Commission on Presidential Debates has strict rules about the debate proceedings, including who may participate. Simply stated, a presidential hopeful must be in a likely position to become president to participate in a CPD debate.
“The CPD's primary mission is to ensure, for the benefit of the American electorate, that general election debates are held every four years between and among the leading candidates for the offices of President and Vice President of the United States,” says the CPD website.
The key element in this statement is the word “leading.” A candidate must hold at least 15 percent of voter support in predetermined polls to become eligible for debate appearances, according to RT.
Johnson only has 10 percent of voter support, according to the same Quinnipiac poll that showed that more than half of respondents wanted to see Johnson in the debates.
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The CPD is a self-proclaimed nonpartisan group. To remain free from bias, officials only must select leading candidates. Whether an individual is a “leading” candidate or not must be determined quantitatively.
Trump and Clinton are clearly the front-runners of the 2016 election. Adding Johnson or Green Party candidate Jill Stein into the debates as a third voice would not give the American people the clear, focused information a nonpartisan presidential debate can provide.
As the November election approaches, hearing succinct policy information from Clinton and Trump is becoming increasingly important. Either the Democratic nominee or the GOP nominee will become president of the U.S. Because Johnson does not have a realistic chance at winning the presidency, he should not participate in the presidential debates.