By Matt Welch, Reason.com, September 6th, 2016:
CNN/ORC this morning came out with its first national presidential poll in more than month, and the results are terrible for Gary Johnson’s fading hopes of getting into this fall’s presidential debates. The Libertarian nominee pulled just 7 percent in the survey, down from 9 percent in the same poll at the end of July, and 13 percent—his highest-ever showing nationwide—two weeks prior to that.
CNN/ORC is one of the Big Five national polls that will be averaged by the technically nonpartisan, effectively bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) in “mid-September” to assess which candidates will be taking part in the initial Sept. 26 event. Since another of the Big Five, Fox News, dropped a 9-spot on Johnson last week, that means that the other three polls would need to average 19.7 percent for Johnson to get to the unreasonably high 15 percent threshold. As it stands now, if the CPD were making its decision today, the Libertarian nominee would be at 8.8 percent across the selected five polls. Which, while being the most impressive third-party showing since Ross Perot in 1992, would still fall far short.