In letters sent to major polling organizations and media executives, former California Superior Court Judge and Libertarian Party vice presidential nominee Jim Gray is urging that presidential candidate and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson be included in polls that will be used to determine participation in fall presidential debates.
Pointing out that Johnson will likely be on the ballot in all 50 states along with President Obama and Mitt Romney, and that various state polls indicate Johnson already impacting the race, Gray’s letter states, “Recent polls suggest Gov. Johnson’s inclusion has an impact on "head-to-head' results, even at this early stage and before spending a penny on paid media.
In addition, as you know, candidates’ participation in the all-important debates this October, as determined by the Commission on Presidential Debates, is based on polling data. Obviously, it is impossible to qualify on the basis of polls when a candidate is not included in those polls.” In addition to a requirement that a presidential candidate be polling at 15 percent or more in five national polls, the debate commission also requires that a candidate appear on enough state ballots to secure an Electoral College majority, at least 270 votes. Gov. Johnson has already met that requirement.
The full text of Gray’s letter:
I'’m writing to you on behalf of Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson to request that he be listed as an option in your presidential polls leading up to the November election.
Recent polls suggest Gov. Johnson’s inclusion has an impact on “head-to-head” results, even at this early stage and before spending a penny on paid media. In addition, as you know, candidates’ participation in the all-important debates this October, as determined by the Commission on Presidential Debates, is based on polling data. Obviously, it is impossible to qualify on the basis of polls when a candidate is not included in those polls.
When included in polls, Johnson has proven to be a factor. Look at the numbers:
In May surveys conducted by Public Policy Polling, Johnson is favored by voters at the following rates: 9 percent in Arizona and 7 percent in New Hampshire. A Reason-Rupe poll indicated he’s at 5 percent in Wisconsin, within the margin separating President Obama and Mitt Romney in that state.
These results suggest Gov. Johnson has the backing to affect the election’s outcome.
Gov. Johnson is working to prove he has enough support nationwide to earn a spot on the debate stage alongside Obama and Romney. According to the Commission on Presidential Debates’ official eligibility guidelines, a candidate must “have a level of support of at least 15 percent of the national electorate as determined by five selected national public opinion polling organizations, using the average of those organizations’ most recent publicly reported results at the time of the determination.”
Voters everywhere are showing they have an appetite for a third-party candidate. Unlike other non-major-party candidates, Gov. Johnson will likely be on the ballot in all 50 states. That fact alone justifies his inclusion in legitimate presidential polls.
Please don’t hesitate to call or email me if you have any questions or would like to discuss further the viability of Gov. Johnson’s candidacy. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Judge James P. Gray
Libertarian nominee for Vice President of the United States