This coming fall you and I (and every person in all 50 states and Washington DC) will have the opportunity to vote for Gary Johnson in our state and as such I think that it's very important that we get a chance to see him in the nation debates along with the Republican and Democrat candidate.
Currently the Congressional Debate Commission is using a standard of being over 15% in the polls, but that is a very flawed metric. The question that is asked is "If the election were held today, who would you vote for?"
That question is DESIGNED to not have people answer "I don't know yet" and it punishes any "new" candidate if their party does not have an established base of voters who always vote the party ticket. The question is designed to not allow people to answer "I want to know more about them and make an informed decision." Why is asking people who they would vote for RIGHT THIS SECOND considered a good way to determine who should be in the debates to inform the public? Why is the poll question trying remove the influence of the people who want to make an informed decision BASED on the debates.
Similarly, if 100 people are polled and 10 of them respond that they don't know who they are voting for yet, those votes are not counted as supporting Gary Johnson specifically, even those people have specifically said they are not convinced to vote for the Republican or the Democrat.
The polls should not be asking people who they would vote for. The poll question that determines who should be in the debates should read as follow: "The following candidates will be on the ballot for President in your state. Please indicate all of them that you would like to see in the debate." It's very simple -- if a poll is being used to determine who is in the debates, that poll should ask about the debates.
When that question is asked, 76% of Americans respond that they would like to see Gary Johnson in the debate.
Count me among that 76%.
Tony Jones is the Libertarian Candidate for North Kingstown Town Council and the RI State Director for Johnson/Weld 2016
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