In order to make the stage for the presidential debates, candidates must be at 15% support in an average of six selected polls prior to the event. Neither Libertarian Gary Johnson nor Green Party nominee Jill Stein have met that threshold, but half of all voters would like to see them on the stage.
A Morning Consult poll finds 52% of Americans want to see Gary Johnson on the debate stage with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Another 47% said Stein should be included in the first debate on September 26.
As for the importance of the first debate, voters are split. One-fourth of voters said they think the presidential debate will be “very important” when determining how they vote in November, while two out of 10 voters said it would not be important at all. Only 18 percent thought the vice presidential debate between Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Gov. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) would impact their vote.
Four out of 10 voters believe Clinton will win the debate, compared with 31 percent who think Trump will be the victor. Almost one-third of respondents (30 percent) didn’t know or had no opinion. Clinton’s supporters are more confident in her chances than Trump supporters are of his; 84 percent of people who say they will vote for Clinton think she will win the debate, compared with 69 percent of Trump supporters who think he’ll be the winner.
Two-thirds of voters said they are likely to watch the first debate between Clinton and Trump, and 58 percent said they would watch the vice presidential debate.
For his part, Johnson acknowledges his long-shot bid for the White House hinges on making the debate stage, saying failure to do so would be “game over.”