Will Jill Stein be at the debate? The answer is yes; the Green Party nominee will be there, and she will be accompanied by a large group of protesters.
Late last week, despite Dr. Stein and Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson‘s efforts, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced that only the Republican and Democratic nominees would be on the debate stage on September 26 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. NBC’s Lester Holt will moderate the first debate.
The commission set the rules over a year ago; they stated, a candidate had to be around 15 percent in the following polls ABC-Washington Post, CBS-New York Times, CNN-ORC, Fox News, and the NBC/Wall Street Journal to take part in the debates.
According to the latest polls from CBS/NYT, among registered voters Hillary Clinton is at 41 percent, Donald Trump is at 39 percent, Johnson is at 11 percent, and Stein has 5 percent.
The third-party candidates reacted to the news very differently. The leader of the Libertarian Party issued a statement, which read:
“The Commission is a private organization created 30 years ago by the Republican and Democratic parties for the clear purpose of taking control of the only nationally-televised presidential debates voters will see. At the time of its creation, the leaders of those two parties made no effort to hide the fact that they didn’t want any third party intrusions into their shows.”
Johnson said he hopes to have better polling numbers to earn a spot during the second debate in early October. Stein, on the other hand, stated in a press release that she plans to protest outside of the event with hundreds of her supporters.
Stein has taken part in dozens of protests in the past, just last week she was charged for spray-painting on a bulldozer at an anti-pipeline protest in North Dakota. She said:
“We will be at the debate to insist that Americans not only have a right to vote, but we have a right to know who we can vote for.”
The commission is expected to review the criteria for the second and third debates in the future. The last time a third-party candidate took part in all three presidential debates was in 1992, when Ross Perot, an independent, met the polling threshold set by the commission.