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Gary Johnson, Jill Stein fail to make the cut for first presidential debate

Los Angeles Times

September 16. 2016 11:28PM
Libertarian Presidential and Vice Presidential nominees Gary Johnson and Bill Weld visit the New Hampshire Union Leader offices on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016. 

It’s official — Gary Johnson and Jill Stein failed to make the cut for the first presidential debate.

The exclusion is a major blow to the already long-shot bids of Johnson, the Libertarian Party nominee, and Stein, the Green Party nominee. The debate would have offered Johnson and Stein the largest audiences of their campaigns.

The Commission on Presidential Debates announced Friday that Johnson and Stein failed to meet one criterion for participating in the debate — receiving an average of 15 percent support in five national polls.

“The Board determined that the polling averages ... are as follows: Hillary Clinton (43 percent), Donald Trump (40.4 percent), Gary Johnson (8.4 percent) and Jill Stein (3.2 percent). Accordingly, Hillary Clinton and her running mate, Tim Kaine, and Donald Trump and his running mate, Mike Pence, qualify to participate in the Sept. 26 presidential debate and the Oct. 4 vice-presidential debate, respectively,” the board said in a statement. “No other candidates satisfied the criteria for inclusion in the September 26 and October 4 debates.”

Some notable Republicans who have expressed disdain or skepticism of Trump have been calling for the inclusion of Johnson and running-mate William Weld in the debates, including 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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