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Long IslandPolitics

Trump, Clinton may get company on presidential debate stage

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton may not be the only candidates on the presidential debate stage this fall if enough voters are still looking for an alternative after the conventions.

Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, a former governor of New Mexico, needs to score an average of 15 percent support in the most recent major polls after Labor Day to get his invitation. It’s not a far-fetched possibility.

The CNN/ORC poll that came out Sunday showed Johnson at 13 percent. He reached 11 percent in the NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey and 8 percent in the ABC News/Washington Post poll.

Johnson, a former Republican governor of New Mexico, told The Washington Times last month that with the unpopularity of Trump and Clinton, it should be possible to break the 15 percent threshold set by The Commission on Presidential Debates.

“We’d be at a level where we’d be in the debates, and if that happens, anything is possible, meaning getting elected is possible,” he said.

Anti-Trump Republicans Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush have said they are considering voting for Johnson in November.

The Green Party candidate, Dr. Jill Stein, is trying to rally disaffected Bernie Sanders supporters to her banner so she can qualify, too. She faces a steeper climb. She had 6 percent support in the NBC poll and 5 percent in the ABC and CNN surveys.

The debates are scheduled for Sept. 26 in Dayton, Ohio; Oct. 9 in St. Louis and Oct. 19 in Las Vegas.

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