Presidential races

Johnson: ‘Dire consequences’ for campaign if he misses debates

Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson said on Saturday that there would be “dire consequences” for his campaign if he is not included in the presidential debates.

{mosads}“By dire consequences, I don’t think there’s any way you can be elected president and not be in the presidential debates,” Johnson told The Des Moines Register after a rally in the Iowa capital.

The Commission on Presidential Debates requires that candidates average 15 percent support in five national polls in order to be included in a debate. The first presidential debate is Sept. 26.

According to RealClearPolitics, the former New Mexico governor is currently averaging 7.8 percent in four-way polls, nearly 5 points ahead of Green Party nominee Jill Stein but at least 30 points behind Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Johnson says his polling numbers indicate that he has the support of about 13 million people, a constituency that he believes deserves to be represented on the debate stage.

“Our polling is ticking up,” Johnson said. “It’s ratcheting up. And so if we’re not in the first debate, there’s a good chance we’ll be in the next debate. But I’ll just ask you this: When you’re representing 13 million people, how do you discount that? How do you say 13 million people shouldn’t be represented on the stage?

“Fifty percent of everyone going to register to vote right now is independent,” he said. “And independent means, look, I’m going to look at the candidate. I don’t care about the parties. … That’s where the opportunity exists to run the table.”

Tags Donald Trump Gary Johnson Hillary Clinton

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