Hosts Of Presidential Debates Instructed to be Prepared for Third-Party Candidate on Stage

As the general election debates draw near, the independent Commission on Presidential Debates has essentially placed the hosting venues on notice that they may need to be flexible with their stage setup.

According to Politico, the directive from the commission was intended to ensure the venues were prepared to place a third lectern on the stage for the debates, just in case a third party candidate cleared the required threshold to be included in the event.

“With (former Gov.) Gary Johnson polling in some places more than double digits, they might have, some of our production people may have said, ‘Just in case, you need to plan out what that might look like,’” explained Mike McCurry, co-chair of the Commission on Presidential Debates and former Bill Clinton White House press secretary. “We won’t know the number of invitations we extend until mid-September.”

In order for a third-party candidate to be included on the stage in the general election debates, he or she must appear on the ballot in enough states to have a mathematical chance at winning the presidency, and must be polling at or above 15 percent in an average of five national polls.

Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson is currently polling around 9 percent, and Green Party nominee Jill Stein sits at roughly 4 percent. Even though both candidates are clearly below the polling threshold, the other co-chair of the commission, Frank Fahrenkopf, suggested the commission may be a little flexible if one of them gets close to that cutoff point.

“If someone came in and let’s say he was at 14.5 percent and the margin of error in five polls was 3 points, we are going to have to sit down and look at it,” Fahrenkopf said. “But right now that person would not be included.”

The three presidential debates were scheduled to be held at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, Washington University in St. Louis, and Hofstra University in New York.

Please share this on Facebook and Twitter to spread the word that the commission in charge of the presidential debates has put the venues on notice that they may need a third lectern on stage in case a third-party candidate is included in the events.

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Hosts Of Presidential Debates Instructed to be Prepared for Third-Party Candidate on Stage