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Americans, This Debate Exclusion Rubbish Must Stop Now-END IT



Folks, when are you going to start screaming about being deprived?

You scream bloody murder when your NFL game isn’t on TV because of a cable negotiations. You scream bloody murder when ‘The Walking Dead’ is preempted by major national news. You scream bloody murder when the grocery store only has two lanes open.

But you don’t scream bloody murder when you’re starved of the chance to get to know a potential leader. Nobody bats an eyelid about it.

RELATED: Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate Paul Stanton qualifies for Oct. 26 debate, awaits official invitation

Governor Gary Johnson and Governor Bill Weld are being left out of the debates based on twisted technicalities, and we all know nobody knew a damned thing about Bernie Sanders before he got into the debates with Hillary Clinton.

stanton-genelectionballotIn Florida, U.S. Senate candidate Paul Stanton actually met the debate criteria for the Oct. 26 event at Broward College. His debate fate? Eliminated on technicalities just hours before a hurricane hit.

Johnson and Stanton aren’t losing, you are.

Johnson has polled as highly as 13-percent (twice) in national polls and in the double digits 23 times this year. If you use the 2012 presidential vote totals, that translates to no less than 12,750,000 million votes.

Are you telling me a candidate that could get 12 million votes shouldn’t be on the stinking debate stage to make his pitch to the FINALLY tuned in American public? Hey, if Johnson finishes with 8 percent, that’s still nearly 10 million votes. Even 5 percent? Do the math-6 million Americans chose the guy.

How does that kind of support not reserve a spot on the debate stage … especially against these two clowns who in two debates still haven’t actually debated an actual election issue?

With Stanton, it’s the same damned thing-just on a smaller scale. Stanton has polled at 10 percent, 9 percent, 5 percent and today (Oct. 14) polled at 6 percent in the most recent PPP poll.

RELATED: Get to know Florida U.S. Senate candidate Paul Stanton

Let’s just say he finishes with 5 percent-his worst poll. That’s still 271,000 votes based on the 2010 U.S. Senatorial election numbers in Florida.

So let me repeat myself, Floridians: Pollsters have said Paul Stanton’s the choice of between 5 percent and 10 percent of prospective voters in Florida. That translates to between 271,000 and 542,000 voters.

But nah, let’s just leave Paul Stanton off stage. He’s just a sideshow, the committees seem to think. Again, Paul’s not losing here … you are.

See, here’s what I don’t get. Every frickin’ election season of my life, I’ve listened to people bitch and moan in the 11th hour that they don’t have enough options on the ballot.

“Are these the only two options we have? They both stink.”


Well yeah, of course they stink. These two parties have both been sitting around for 150-plus years, fermenting.

There are other options right in front of you, but because you don’t do your homework, you don’t hear about them until you get your sample ballot.

You want options? Let me tell you about options. They are in the Libertarian Party and this train is leaving the station. It’s still moving slowly enough (for now) for you to jump on and enjoy the scenery while we make stops along the way.

Man … people say they don’t have faith in the future? That couldn’t be further from the truth. In one of the PPP polls Paul Stanton was included in, he drew 19 percent of the millennial vote. Gov. Johnson polls in the 30s with millennials.

So the good news is, this will all be changing.

All in all, this election season is a big, fat victory no matter how you look at it. Johnson received 1.3 million in the presidential election four years ago. This year, at the very worst, he’ll quindruple that and he may even affect the electoral college–with absolutely zero help from the debate stage or 99-percent of the mainstream ‘pundits’.

Stanton will also likely surpass by leaps and bounds the vote totals that Libertarian candidate Alex Snitker worked extremely hard for in 2010. That groundwork has been laid and advanced, and Stanton took the cause even further when he captured the first Libertarian statewide primary in Florida history. That fact will be celebrated 50 years from now, when the fossil parties are ‘taking cues from the Libertarians’, as LP National Committee chair Nick Sarwark likes to say.

As far as the debates are concerned, it’s a game of coulda, woulda, shoulda, I admit-but if Johnson and Stanton had made the debate stage this year, it may have accelerated the LP’s growth exponentially, both nationally and statewide. But this LP crew is used to baby steps. It has been forced to do it this way for years, and it’ll keep doing it.

All I ask, after this monumental year for Libertarians … quit saying you don’t have options when there’s the massive Golden Torch of Liberty staring back at you, inviting you to take part. And let’s make sure this debate snub crap ends this year. To fix it, it takes a loud response from voters.

You have options, don’t forget that next time.


Libertarian Senate candidate Paul Stanton qualifies for three-way debate


For more information, contact:

Brian McLaughlin | Media Director – Committee to elect Paul Stanton

Email: |Twitter: @BrianMacWriter

DELAND, Fla. (Sept. 29, 2016): U.S. Senate candidate Paul Stanton learned Thursday he stands at 9 percent in the second PPP three-way poll released this month. According to the Oct. 26 debate criteria, this showing qualifies the Libertarian candidate to be on stage that night at Broward College in south Florida.

Stanton is running for incumbent Republican Marco Rubio’s seat in Florida, which is also being contested by Democrat Patrick Murphy and four other non-party affiliated candidates not included in Thursday’s poll. Stanton’s Thursday result follows his 10-percent showing earlier this month after his victory in Florida’s first statewide Libertarian primary.

PodiumStanton now awaits the official invitation to the Oct. 26 debate.

“I am pleased to see the message of peace and liberty is resonating with Florida voters,” Stanton said when hearing the news. “As it appears this poll meets the criteria set forth by Leadership Florida for the Oct. 26 debate, I am confident they will make the right decision and let Floridians hear from the three leading candidates.”

Thursday’s PPP poll broke down the results by age group, gender and race. With the Hispanic electorate, Stanton drew 18 percent of the 826 people polled—just 12 percent behind Rubio. In a sign that Stanton is pulling support from both establishment candidates, he nabbed 9% of registered Democrats and 6% of registered Republicans. He also polled at 15% with the all-important Independent/Other Party category.

With millennial voters (aged 18 to 29), Stanton’s results mirror Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson’s impressive numbers in that he is drawing 19 percent of those polled, while Rubio draws 29 percent and Murphy 28.

“Millennials grew up with their country at war and I think they are especially ready for a message of peace and liberty,” Stanton said after reviewing the numbers. “Unlike some of their parents, they are not held down by blind party loyalty.”

Rubio and Murphy both accepted debate invitations earlier this month to the Oct. 26 event at Broward College, which will be hosted by Leadership Florida and the Florida Press Association. The debate criteria states that a candidate must reach a 12.5-percent mark in an “independent, reputable poll of at least 815 likely Florida voters”, which Thursday’s poll fits. Margin of error is allowed to be factored in at a 3.5-percent clip—which qualifies Stanton.

The Stanton campaign has been in contact with representatives from both Leadership Florida and the Florida Press Association and is awaiting confirmation this poll can be used to qualify him for the October 26th debate against Rubio and Murphy.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Libertarian Candidate Paul Stanton Challenges Rubio To Senate Debates


For more information, contact:

Brian McLaughlin | Media Director – Committee to elect Paul Stanton

Email: Twitter: @BrianMacWriter

DELAND, Fla. (Sept. 19, 2016): Today, Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate Paul Stanton contacted the Marco Rubio campaign and challenged the incumbent Republican Senator to the six-debate proposal Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy has declined to fully participate in.

RELATED: Get to know Paul Stanton, Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate

Here is an excerpt from Stanton’s letter to Rubio, which you can read in its entirety by clicking on the PDF link to the right (paul-stanton-letter-to-rubio-sept19):

“I agree with you that transparency in the agendas of the candidates in this Senatorial race is of utmost importance, and that the best way to achieve this transparency is by multiple public debates.  In 2010, all three candidates for the U.S. Senate agreed that Floridians deserved six thoughtful debates.  This year, Floridians deserve no less.”

Stanton polled in the double-digits in the first three-way Public Policy Poll (PPP), which was released Sept. 7. The incumbent, Rubio, drew 40 percent, while Democrat challenger Murphy had 37 to Stanton’s 10, with 13 percent saying they were undecided about the Nov. 8 election.

RELATED: Paul Stanton’s BallotPedia page

So far, Rubio’s and Murphy’s camps have agreed to be on the same debate stage only twice-on Oct. 17 at UCF in Orlando and Oct. 26 at Broward College in Davie. The Oct. 26 debate has made its criteria and format public, making it possible for a candidate polling at 12.5%—with an accepted 3.5% margin of error—to be on the debate stage. The ‘accepted’ polling will be done independently in September and criteria must be met by Oct. 3, when invitations go out. In this scenario, if Stanton were to replicate his PPP showing, he would be invited thanks to the margin of error rule.

PPP pointed out Stanton’s solid start in its press release on Sept. 7:

“… one thing that’s particularly notable is that Libertarian Paul Stanton pulls 10% of the vote at this point. That’s a reflection of the choice Floridians face at this point. Rubio is not popular, with only 35% of voters approving of the job he’s doing to 45% who disapprove. But Murphy is relatively unknown with 47% of voters having no opinion about him one way or another … These are the conditions that can lead to a 3rd party candidate doing well and right now Stanton is benefiting from that dynamic.”

Stanton is coming off a victory in the first-ever statewide Libertarian primary in Florida, winning with 74 percent of the vote. He is a U.S. Army veteran who served in Iraq. Following his service, The DeLand native became an outspoken Libertarian activist and qualified for the ballot in June. The Libertarian Party is the third largest political party in the United States and the Libertarian presidential candidate, Gov. Gary Johnson, will be on the ballot in all 50 states. The LP is committed to free-market principles, civil rights, personal freedom, non-interventionism, less government intervention, peace and free trade.

Paul Stanton speaks during an August pre-primary Senatorial debate in Stuart (Fla.) which invited all candidates from all parties. Democrat ‘Rocky’ de La Fuente is to Stanton’s right. 

Libertarian U.S. Senate Candidate Paul Stanton Has Primary Election Day Agenda Set

Stanton at the U.S. Senate Open Debate on Aug. 11 in Stuart, Fla.


For more information, contact:
Brian McLaughlin | Committee to elect Paul Stanton
Twitter: @BrianMacWriter
DELAND, Fla. (Aug. 29, 2016): Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate Paul Stanton has his Tuesday primary plan squared away, and it will involve casting his vote early in his home county of Volusia, visiting a Libertarian voter hotbed and then watching the voting returns come in with supporters.
Stanton, a DeLand resident, will head to Pinellas County after his personal visit to the ballot box. In 2014, Pinellas County led the state in votes for Libertarian candidates in the races for Governor and Attorney General. Stanton will visit ‘Occupy the Primary’ volunteers from the Libertarian Party who plan to be at polling locations county wide to increase awareness of the party.
“The election is finally here, and we Libertarians have a choice in this historic primary,” Stanton said. “Vote for peace, liberty and personal empowerment … I have bold plans for lowering taxes, fighting poverty and ensuring peace.”
Following his visits to the polls, he will participate in an election returns watch party at Station House in St. Petersburg with a large contingent of supporters. Stanton is in an unprecedented Florida Libertarian primary with Augustus Invictus and according to the Libertarian National Committee, this year only three states held LP primaries for a U.S. Senate or House seat—Florida, Missouri (Senate seat) and Alaska (House seat).
Along with an endorsement from the current Libertarian presidential ticket of Gov. Gary Johnson and Gov. Bill Weld, Stanton also holds endorsements from seven Libertarian Party affiliates in Florida—Pinellas, Broward, Palm Beach, Collier, Santa Rosa, Volusia and Northwest Florida.
Republicans, Democrats and Libertarian candidates will go through primaries and Tuesday’s winners will proceed to the Nov. 8 general election. This year’s race for U.S. Senate includes incumbent Republican Marco Rubio and current Democratic frontrunners Patrick Murphy and Alan Grayson.

Paul Stanton is a U.S. Army veteran who served in Iraq, receiving his honorable discharge as a Sergeant. Following his service, he became an outspoken Libertarian activist. He currently resides in DeLand working in computer programming and data analytics. The Libertarian Party is the third largest political party in the United States and the Libertarian presidential candidate, Gov. Gary Johnson, will be on the ballot in all 50 states. The LP is committed to free-market principles, civil rights, personal freedom, non-interventionism, less government intervention, peace and free trade.

Florida House Candidate Steve Edmonds: Facts, Background And Links

SteveEdmonds-FamilyFULL NAME
: William Steven Edmonds, Jr.

RUNNING FOR: Florida House, Dist 28 (NPA)

AGE: 44 years old

FAMILY: Wife, Tracy … Son, Will

BORN: Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

HIGH SCHOOL: Martin County HS in Stuart, Fla.

COLLEGE: University of Central Florida (both Bachelor’s and Master’s).

CURRENT PROFESSION: Adjunct Professor at Eastern Florida State College, also at with Daytona State College. Teaches American National Government and State and Local Politics.

POLITICAL AND LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE: Hired as a staffer for Pat Buchanan’s 1996 Presidential Campaign, working in key states and on ballot access; Campaign Manager for Libertarian Bill Wohlsifer for Florida Attorney General campaign in 2014; Oviedo Land Planning Agency (1999-2001); Seminole County National Lands Committee (2001); Elected to Seminole County Soil and Conservation District (2002-2006); candidate for Florida State Senate in 2010 (drew 33 percent; 50,478 votes); candidate for Seminole County school board 2006 (drew 32 percent).

HOBBIES: Spending time with his wife and son … Fishing in the near future on his 16’8″ Ranger boat … Escaping his land-locked existence in Oviedo every chance he gets … Surfing when the wave action is solid.

PRESIDENTIAL PREFERENCE: Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson: “I had a chance to play pool once with Gary Johnson for about four hours. It was an amazing experience to hang out with somebody who has a real chance of being President. I’ve been supporting him since 2014 and I voted for him in 2012.”

QUOTABLE: “One of the reasons I’m doing this is I want to show you can do this without a party and with not a lot of money … I’m trying to do this by example, purposefully. People should look into plugging themselves into the local community. It doesn’t have to be in government, it can be with a local charity or working with the local Babe Ruth baseball league. Any activity in your community is good. If you are a registered voter and a member of your community, you’re qualified to run for anything all the way up to U.S. Congress. It would be awesome to have fresh new faces in this. It definitely requires a lot of time commitment … but if you’re willing to go to 15 different meetings and knock on 150 doors a day to get name recognition, you do it.”


OFFICIAL CAMPAIGN PAGE: Steve Edmonds, Florida House District 28

TLI’S article on Steve Edmonds and the reason he became an activist and candidate

BallotPedia: Steve Edmonds, candidate for Florida House District 28

The Opt Out Florida Network: Questionnaire about Edmonds’ current campaign

LinkedIn page: Steve Edmonds Q-and-A with Steve Edmonds



Florida State House Candidate Steve Edmonds Grew Up With A Passion For Florida And Its Water

Awareness can come at such an early age. You don’t have to be of voting age to be concerned for other people, or for the environment.


Everybody has his or her hot-button topic, and for Steve Edmonds–who is running as a viable NPA option for Florida State House District 28 in Seminole County–it’s all about the H2O. And in Florida? That’s a massive discussion topic for obvious reasons.

Edmonds is fired up … about clean water, and it stems from growing up all around it.

RELATED: Edmonds at a glance, the stats and facts

“If I wasn’t in one of the three rivers close to my house, or the ocean … I was within a couple hundred yards of it,” Edmonds told TLI. “That really is without exaggeration.

“It’s something that has always been a part of me and it’s one of the reasons I’m politically active.”

Edmonds was raised in south Florida. He was born in Fort Lauderdale, grew up in the Palm City/Stuart area and his house was close to the St. Lucie River. He became fascinated with the waterways and locks that were only a few hundred yards from his home.

One weekend, Edmonds was camping with his Boy Scout Troop on the other side of the nearby locks. Their task was to cut nature trails for recreational hikers. This was in the 1980s, a bunch of teenagers turned activists working together to help out.

All of a sudden, Edmonds heard a noise that he still compares to a ‘freight train’ in the camp site. The older scouts told him to relax, it was just the locks opening up.

He became aware at a young age how this influx of … ahem … ‘fresh’ water coming from far off Lake Okeechobee would impact his area. Sometimes, he’d catch fish you didn’t normally see in his area. Other times there would be a massive fish kill situation, or maybe freshwater fish in brackish and saltwater crab traps. Without the locks? None of this would happen.

When you have people involved with re-routing nature–both in a literal and metaphorical sense–things quickly spin out of balance. Edmonds wants to be a part of helping change things, raising awareness of what’s going on and who the power brokers are. He is running as an NPA this year, but has Libertarian roots. Libertarians believe the government should get out of the regulation business as much as possible, to stop interfering with the natural course of events.

That goes for the natural course of water and the environment, too.

Florida State House candidate Steve Edmonds with Gary Johnson, Libertarian candidate for President in 2016. Photo taken during the Florida Libertarian state convention in 2015.

‘Legacy pollution’ is the root of so many of the problems with Florida’s waterways, as well as the recent algae bloom Floridians have seen on the Atlantic Coast. Legacy pollution is the sedimentary piling on of agricultural runoff, urban and suburban runoff, pesticides, herbicides, you name it. It’s a witch’s brew of goo that has made it into Florida’s waterways and flows into Lake Okeechobee and then is churned up when the lake needs to be flushed. When that sediment gets disturbed, it can kick off algae blooms like the one we have seen this summer–and this summer’s led to a state of emergency.

The Witch’s Brew of Goo – Florida recipe

If you want to see Edmonds’ brows furrowed, his hackles rise and a low growl become audible, mention the current events above. It’s almost as if somebody has messed with his children–it is on that level. That slime is impacting the area he camped near as a kid, and he wants desperately to be a part of the solution. He wants a chance to get up in Tallahassee and state his case and raise the key questions.

Clean water is hardly Edmonds’ only strong position topic, as you can see on the fact page linked here. But his passion for Floridians and for Florida’s environment is clearly evident. He is an activist, not a politician. In 2010 he ran as an NPA for Florida Senate District 24 and received 33 percent of the vote. This is a candidate who not only has an existing support base and a resume, but could win the seat with more support from voters who are tired of the same old goo in Tallahassee.

Here’s the good news, too: Edmonds is a rarity among non-party affiliated candidates. On July 22, the online entity Election 2016 did an online Facebook poll with 500 verified unique IP addresses surveyed. In that polling, incumbent Republican Jason Brodeur received 39 percent of the vote, Edmonds received 35 percent and undecideds were 26 percent. They will be the only two qualified candidates running for the seat.

If you live in the eastern part of Seminole County and want to make a statement with your vote, take a look at Edmonds and decide for yourself if you’d rather have an activist or a politician represent you in the Florida House of Representatives.

Endorsement Momentum Builds For Paul Stanton One Week Prior To Unique Libertarian Primary


StantonAtPodiumThree more recent endorsements have flooded in for Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate Paul Stanton, one week ahead of the unprecedented Libertarian Primary in Florida.

The Libertarian Party of Palm Beach County, the Libertarian Party of Santa Rosa County and the John McAfee backed ‘Vote Different Initiative’ have joined a long list of party affiliates, key individuals and groups who have thrown support behind Stanton-who is gathering steam heading into the August 30 primary with Augustus Invictus.

“One week from election day, and the momentum is still growing,” Stanton told TLI. “The amount of support from Libertarians statewide has been inspiring. We reject government violence and government paternalism.

“Let’s send a strong message of peace,  liberty and individual empowerment to Washington.”

RELATED: Get to know Paul Stanton, a Q-and-A with the candidate

The LP of Palm Beach County voted on the endorsement Tuesday night and vice-chair Marc Tancer phoned Stanton to let him know the outcome. Santa Rosa County – wedged between Pensacola and Fort Walton Beach in the Panhandle – voted earlier this month, and McAfee’s group also informed Stanton of their choice earlier in August.

Stanton’s endorsement reach spans from Pensacola down to Naples on the Gulf Coast and Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach on the Atlantic Coast. In all it brings the list of affiliate endorsements in Florida to seven (see list below story), along with the personal endorsement from the chair of the LP of Lee County (Fort Myers). As of Aug. 24, Invictus had not received a formal publicized affiliate endorsement.

RELATED: Why I’m voting for, and supporting, Paul Stanton for U.S. Senate

Also, Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson and Vice-Presidential candidate Bill Weld endorsed Stanton at the national convention in May, along with five other presidential candidates (see list below).

LP Candidate and Affiliate Support Specialist Bob Johnston told The Libertarian Identity in a recent phone call that only three states in the country will have/had August Libertarian primaries for U.S. Senate or U.S. House seats. Alaska (House) and Missouri (Senate) are the other two. Florida has never had a Libertarian primary for federal office-the candidates always went straight to the general election.

RELATED: BallotPedia page for Paul Stanton

Here is the updated list of Stanton’s endorsements:


Libertarian Party of Volusia County
Libertarian Party of Collier County (July 10)
Northwest Florida Libertarian Party (July 20)
Libertarian Party of Broward County (July 21)
Libertarian Party of Pinellas County (July 22)
Libertarian Party of Santa Rosa County (Aug. 9)
Libertarian Party of Palm Beach County (Aug. 23)


Gary Johnson – Libertarian Presidential nominee, former Governor of New Mexico
Bill Weld – Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee, former Governor of Massachusetts
Jim Gray –
2012 Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee, Jurist, former judge
John McAfee –
Cybersecurity legend, former Presidential candidate
Darryl W Perry –
Activist, author, radio host, lobbyist, former Presidential candidate
Dr. Marc Allan Feldman –
Physician, former Presidential candidate
Kevin McCormick –
Former Presidential candidate
Will Coley –
Activist, radio host, political adviser, former Vice Presidential candidate
Thomas Knapp –
Writer, editor, publisher, founder of Boston Tea Party (political party)
Richard Molek –
Chair of Libertarian Party of Lee County
Adrian Wyllie –
2014 Libertarian candidate for Governor of Florida


Eastern Liberty Alliance PAC
Ninjas for Liberty PAC
Vote Different Initiative



GOOD NEWS!: The 5 polls chosen to average? Good ones for Gov. Johnson


Libertarian-Town-Hall-CNN-jpg2Well folks, we have our answer to two VERY important questions: When does Gov. Gary Johnson need to be at the 15% polling average, and which five polls will be included in that average?

The answers?: The average will be taken in mid September prior to the Monday, Sept. 26 first presidential debate.

The five polls are ABC-Washington Post; CBS-New York Times; CNN-Opinion Research Corporation; Fox News; and NBC-Wall Street Journal. Monmouth and Rasmussen and IPP and your mama’s poll down at the grocery store now officially don’t mean squat-and they were always the lower ones anyway.

RELATED: Bernie jumped from 5% to 45% thanks to debates … Gov. Johnson would too.

The five chosen polls have repeatedly held Johnson in double digits. In fact, get this (and see graphic below): NBC, FOX and CBS haven’t had ONE poll with Johnson-Weld under 10 percent, and CNN was the poll that had him at 13 percent. The low-ball one has been ABC hovering at 8.

These five polls are good ones. Not one of them have polled below 8 percent since June.

The fossil party conventions are over … their poll ‘bumps’ have pretty much run their course now that it’s been two to three weeks. A gradual rise is already happening for the Johnson-Weld ticket.

At this point, the rule would take these 5 numbers: 12, 10, 10, 9 and 8 for an average that would round up to 10%.

Take a look, and begin smiling folks … because we ‘got ‘this! Four weeks to get to work!

EDITOR’S NOTE: Note that 3-way polls are included but in most cases have Johnson the same as in the 4-way. Another thing, which may help? It doesn’t look real good for Stein to get in.


THIS DEBATE PARADOX SUCKS: The Chicken Or The Egg Argument From Hell


This week we heard that the debate commission is telling the venues to at least entertain the possibility of a third podium being needed during the September and October Presidential debates … as well as the one Vice-Presidential debate.

Why is the word here “entertain” … this is a no brainer. They should be PLANNING on it, not “entertaining” the idea of it. If a candidate is going to be on the ballot in enough states that mathematically he or she could gain a 270 majority–he or she should be in the debates.

Period. Period. Period.

PodiumNo subjective polling, no required percentage amount that is impossible to attain without debate status. In fact, that’s what this is: It’s a DEBATE PARADOX.

You can’t get into the debates unless you’re averaging 15 percent … but you can’t get 15 percent unless you’re in the debates.


It’s like watching a dog chase its tail–and then the dog gets so dizzy it either upchucks or walks sideways into a electrified barbed-wire fence. Lose, lose.

Debates made Bernie Sanders. Look at the chart above. Prior to this election, he was just known as the independent U.S. Senator from Vermont who caucused with the Dems. That’s all I knew about him and I’m a political nerd–most Americans didn’t know him from a hole in the wall.

When he announced his intention to run on April 30, 2015, he was polling at 5.6%. That’s lower than the current Johnson-Weld ticket is polling in the RCP (8%). One year later, after nine debates where he generally went one on one with Hillary Clinton? He was at 45.8% and he won more than 20 states. He used this debate opportunity (and the media that came as a result) to build momentum, and he nearly toppled the “shoo-in” candidate.

mccain-get-libertarians-off-my-lawnIf Bernie can get this momentum just from being in the debates … which of course helps create spinoffs on Saturday Night Live and ends up being a mainstream moment … then Johnson would easily benefit, too.

Why is it that we have endure 12 party candidate in one debate during the primaries … sometimes with candidates polling less than 2% … but we can’t have the Johnson-Weld ticket on stage for the general?

We all know why … because the Libertarian ticket is dangerous. Martin O’Malley wasn’t a threat to Clinton, and the Dems thought Bernie would be a grouchy old man and would go away quickly. They had to set up the illusion that there was a real race going on, for the lemming Dem voters. On the Rep side, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee were castoffs from the past, but they got to be on stage.

The threshold shouldn’t be subjective polling with questionable methods, the threshold should be based on whether your campaigns spent enough time and money to get on enough ballots to be viable.

Make it an objective system, folks. And scream bloody murder when it isn’t objective.

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