By Micah J. Fleck
According to a new piece from local Denver publication Denverite, Gary Johnson still may not quite make it over the 15% required to make the presidential debate stage, despite being so incredibly close to hitting it and working so hard to get his name on the ballot in all 50 states. And the person we have to thank for this unbelievably narrow miss is none other than Green Party candidate Jill Stein:
Most Americans want to see Libertarian Gary Johnson on the debate stage with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released this week.
But the threshold Johnson needs to cross — 15 percent in national polls — seems elusively out of reach, and some analysts think the other third-party candidate, the Green Party’s Jill Stein, is what’s keeping him from the stage.
The commission that controls the debates issued a rule back in 2000 that third-party candidates who poll at 15 percent or higher would get to participate in the debates, and Johnson has staked his campaign on that as an opportunity put his ideas before the public.
This month, the commission announced it would use these polls: ABC/Washington Post, NBC/Wall Street Journal, CBS/New York Times, CNN and Fox News. And all five of those stations are including Johnson, which is great for him, but they’re also including Stein, which might not be so great for him.
The article does go on to toy with the idea that perhaps Stein’s supporters wouldn’t have voted for Gary anyway had Stein not been in the race, but that is pure hypothetical speculation. What we know beyond a shadow of a doubt is that with Jill Stein still in the race, she absolutely fragments the third party votes. Votes that could have been helping Johnson reach 15% and break the two party monopoly. As it is, too much choice might actually end up leaving American voters once again stuck with no real choice at all.