By JIm Ellis
Aug. 17, 2016 — The Commission on Presidential Debates has now provided more specific criteria pertaining to who will be invited to participate in the four presidential and vice presidential debates that are scheduled to begin Sept. 26.
Long ago, the commission members decided that the main qualification for national debate series participation is an arbitrary standing derived from a number of previously undetermined political surveys. Earlier reports indicated that only candidates obtaining 15 percent popular support as determined from the designated polls would be included.
Yesterday, in little way of surprise, the commission members announced that the official debate polls will be: ABC News/ Washington Post, CBS News/New York Times, CNN/Opinion Research, Fox News and NBC News/Wall Street Journal.
These polls, all using the same methodology in terms of sample size – normally around the 1,000 registered voter mark nationally – will likely continue to produce similar numbers. Therefore, it will be very difficult for Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson, and almost impossible for Green Party candidate Jill Stein, to consistently reach the 15 percent plateau.