Gary Johnson supporters push for inclusion in GOP debate

{mosads}A group called Citizens for Gary Johnson is behind a social-media push to include Johnson in the upcoming debates. Their argument is that if Jon Huntsman and Rick Santorum, who have recently polled in the single digits — sometimes behind Johnson — are included, then Johnson should be as well.

The CNN policy that excluded Johnson from the outlet’s previous New Hampshire debate required 2 percent support in national or Granite State polling in order to participate. Johnson was tied, at 1 percent, with Santorum in Monday’s poll of New
Hampshire voters by Institute of Politics at Harvard University and the
New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College.

In order to participate in the debate hosted by Bloomberg News and The Washington Post, candidates must meet four requirements, including measurable popular support in national polls, at least half a million dollars raised in the second-quarter reporting period, and participation in at least three nationally televised Republican presidential debates during the 2012 election cycle.

Johnson has participated in two of the national debates this cycle.

Johnson’s campaign has complained that he is deliberately being left out of debates, and accused CNN of removing him from an event in September despite results released at the end of August that showed him with 2 percent support, tied with fellow contender Herman Cain. Cain has since seen a major surge in the polls and won a prime spot in the stage placement reflecting his new front-runner status at Tuesday’s debate.

Johnson participated in the most recent presidential debate in Florida, where he was credited with one of the most memorable lines: “My next-door neighbor’s two dogs have created more shovel-ready jobs than this current administration.”

Johnson picked up some support following his participation in the debate, including a pro-Johnson super-PAC created by a former member of his campaign.

—This post was updated at 2:55 p.m.

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