Penn Jillette (@pennjillette) August 19, 2012
Gary Johnson, former Governor of New Mexico, is the Libertarian Party’s nominee for President. Supporters of Johnson say he should be included in the presidential debates alongside President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.
Traditionally, the decision about who is included in the presidential debates has been delegated to the Commission on Presidential Debates.
According to the Commission’s web site, a candidate must show support of at least 15 percent in polls — a tough standard for any third-party candidate. So far Johnson has not come close.
Today, Libertarians are holding a “Twitter bomb” to show their support for Johnson’s inclusion in the 2012 presidential debates. They are using the hashtag #LetGaryJohnsonDebate:
Johnson almost certainly will not win the election, but he may affect the outcome in a few battleground states. According to FoxNews.com, Johnson is polling at 13 percent in New Mexico and 7 percent in Colorado — “certainly enough to disadvantage whichever major-party candidate he’s drawing votes away from.”
Some assume that Johnson hurts Romney more than he hurts Obama:
This assumption, however, may be unwarranted. An early-August poll by Public Policy Polling found Obama leading Romney in a one-on-one match-up in Colorado by 6 points, but Obama’s lead was cut to 4 points when voters were given the choice of supporting Johnson. “That’s because Johnson gets 13% of independents, taking more from [respondents] who lean toward Obama than Romney,” according to the polling firm.