With the second presidential debate around the corner, third-party candidates are crossing their fingers for the chance to be included on the national stage for the event. Namely, the Green Party presidential hopeful — so, is Jill Stein at the second debate? She's made a reasonable argument, writing in an op-ed that most of the American electorate is made up of independent voters, and therefore, there should be more options represented at the debate.
But according to the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), a non-partisan, nonprofit organization that determines the official numbers, to get that official invite, a candidate needs to be polling at at least 15 percent with the national electorate:
With the assistance of Dr. Newport, the Board determined that the polling averages called for in the third criterion are as follows: Hillary Clinton (44.8%), Donald Trump (40.8%), Gary Johnson (7.4%) and Jill Stein (2.6%). Accordingly, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump qualify to participate in the October 9 debate. No other candidates satisfied the criteria for inclusion in the October 9. The criteria will be reapplied to all candidates in advance of the third presidential debate.
Since Stein is barely at 3 percent, she'll have to sit this one out, and the town-hall-style debate, moderated by ABC's Martha Raddatz and CNN's Anderson Cooper, on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, will be short the left-wing candidate. To argue Stein's point, though, if there was one debate to host alternative viewpoints, it'd be this one since the audience will be composed of undecided voters selected by Gallup, and the event specifically opens the floor to questions from those in the crowd, not to mention questions chosen from social media or other sources, according to the CPD.
Even though Stein's definitely not invited to the second presidential debate, it doesn't exclude her from the election altogether: She'll still be on the ballot in 45 states, according to Stein's website. And despite the fact that she's not a part of the contest on Sunday, at least not in a formal sense, if the last debate is any indication, she won't go quietly. At the first matchup, Stein and surrogates organized protests outside Hofstra University where Trump and Clinton were battling it out in their first go-round. That said, it didn't end well for her — without the proper credentials, Stein and her supporters were escorted from the premises, according to her own tweet:
From there, she was left to resort to the depths of social media to try to make her voice heard.