US News & World Report: Johnson Could Be in Oct. 3rd Debate

In a 23 July 2012 article titled “Gary Johnson Could Appear in Presidential Debates” by Elizabeth Flock, staff writer for U.S. News & World Report, Janet Brown Executive Director of the Commission on Presidential Debates is quoted as saying, in an apparent reference to the requirement that Governor Johnson show at least 15 percent in selected pre-debate polls, that his supporters are “making assumptions about something that has not [happened].”

It would appear that Executive Director Brown is under the impression that Governor Johnson may reach that percentage without even being included, to date, as an available option in those polls.

The complete article is available here:

16 thoughts on “US News & World Report: Johnson Could Be in Oct. 3rd Debate

  1. Joe Buchman Post author

    The CPD schedule is:

    First presidential debate:
    Wednesday, October 3
    University of Denver, Denver, CO

    Vice presidential debate:
    Thursday, October 11
    Centre College, Danville, KY

    Second presidential debate (town meeting format):
    Tuesday, October 16
    Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY

    Third presidential debate:
    Monday, October22
    Lynn University, Boca Raton, FL

    From :

  2. Joe Buchman Post author

    Governor Johnson, as indicated in the article, has met the first two of three criteria (Constitutional Eligibility and Ballot Access) for receiving an invitation to participate in the Presidential debates.

    The third criteria is:


    The CPD’s third criterion requires that the candidate have a level of support of at least 15% (fifteen 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.”


  3. Wes Wagner

    So basically he won’t get into the debates because he doesn’t have 15% because no one will talk about him.

    How do we solve this problem?

  4. Joe Buchman Post author


    1 – The campaign is actively protesting the exclusion of Governor Johnson’s name from current polling.

    2 – Issues of fairness are being raised directly with the CPD.

    3 – Campaign supporters are directed to proactively report supporting/voting for Gary Johnson when contacted by any and all polling organizations. “Let’s ALL get Gary in the debates — then you can choose who to vote for after that.”

    4 – Advertising will, I believe, occur prior to both the debates much of the polling.

    5 – Social media and WOM efforts are designed around each of the above as well.

    (And finally, and no doubt most importantly — I am here listening for YOUR great ideas!)



  5. Michael H. Wilson

    Joe who and how are they polling? If they are not polling cell phone users then there is a problem with the sample when we know full well the younger people do not have land line phones.

  6. Christians Only Party

    #4 – Lots of money to buy the media and lots of door to door boots on the ground. Until the LP learns how to walk precincts and do consistent, solid fundraising they will continue to tread water and miss debates.

    Ads in local shopper magazines/newspapers/classifieds can be surprisingly cheap. They are mailed weekly to every home in many areas, or there are the ones you pick up free in lobbies everywhere. A couple hundred bucks can get you exposure to 30,000 locals for a few weeks. I’ve always thought minor parties have missed those opportunities for mass local advertising on the cheap. A QR code on one of these cheap ads can send the readers’ phones directly to the candidate website as they read the ad. $100,000 on this strategy might get the poll numbers up a few points. Worth investigating anyway. But precinct leaders are the real, long term solution.

  7. Joe Buchman Post author

    From the CPD website:

    “The CPD’s determination with respect to participation in the CPD’s first-scheduled debate will be made after Labor Day 2012, but sufficiently in advance of the first-scheduled debate to allow for orderly planning. ”

    I’m going to guess the date implied by the above is Wednesday, September 19th — 2 weeks prior to the debate. And I’m going to guess that the polling will stop 7 days prior to that, with results reported to the CPD sometime during that week,

    That means there are exactly 50 days left for the campaign to get Gary Johnson polling at 15 percent.

  8. Joe Buchman Post author

    Michael @ 6 — I assume others in the campaign who are more directly involved know the answer — I don’t. It’s unclear who the CPD has in mind for polling companies based on the limited info on their website.

    ANYone know what the details are on the polling companies?

  9. Michael H. Wilson

    May I suggest putting out a news release challenging them on the issue? Okay I just did suggest that very thing.

  10. Hardy Macia

    Since 1992 when Perot participated in a three way debate for president, the audience viewership has dropped between 21-38%.*

    A three way debate will improve viewership meaning more viewers for the corporate sponsors of the debate.

    The drop isn’t just related to people shifting away from the corporate media because the VP debate with Palin matched the number of viewers of the Perot debate.

    *Numbers calculated from number of eligible voters and viewership numbers reported by

  11. paulie

    Isn’t the CPD free to revise its rules? Some public pressure may make them lower the 15% to something more reasonable.

    We can point out that Ventura polled 7% at one point leading up to the election which he won, and Perot polled 7% and led both Bush and Clinton at another point in 1992, so polling below 15% does not necessarily mean a candidate has no chance to climb in the polls and even, possibly, win.

  12. Kyle Kneale

    I think Governor Johnson had a tremendous response to the blackout CNN campaign (particularly on social media sites). I think that attention needs to be refocused on the CPD itself.

  13. Joe Buchman Post author

    I’m going to count this down — best estimate — we have 49 DAYS to get the Governor an Invite to that first debate.

    What have you done today?

    (Hypothesis here: If each of us does a bunch of little things that have a ripple effect, we can do this!)


  14. Derek

    I think the ideal plan would be to allow all candidates on enough state ballots to hypothetically win an Electoral College majority to get into the debates.

    Another idea would be to have 3 debates, first one with all candidates that are on enough ballots to hypothetically win an Electoral College majority, second one with all candidates receiving at least 5% and the final one with all candidates recieving at least 15%.

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