The 2016 election has been filled with debates on rules and structure. Now Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson is blasting a rule that could prevent him from joining Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on a national stage.
The Libertarian presidential candidate says a rigged system is crushing his hopes for the White House before any ballots are cast.
Even though Johnson is the only non-major party option on the ballot in all 50 states, he says he's still struggling to get people to treat him like a real candidate. Pollsters, he claims, have rigged their polls to not include him.
"What's unfair is not being in the polls shouldn't we be prominently displayed as the third name in every single poll that appears. That would be fair," said Johnson.
Not being included is a huge problem for Johnson. If he doesn't reach 15 percent in five polls pre-selected by the Commission on Presidential Debates, he won't stand beside Clinton or Trump on the debate stage.
No candidate since 1984 has won the White House without participating in the debates. The last third party candidate to appear was Ross Perot - who was approved to participate by a panel of experts, not by meeting a polling threshold.
"Are they excluding us of their own free will? Or is it a rigged game?" said Johnson.
The Commission on Presidential Debates told The Hill that the criteria is objective as well as nonpartisan, and while they don't have control over polling firms, they encouraged pollsters to include Johnson.
The tension around the polls comes at a time when voters are conflicted. According to a Reuters poll, a startling one-in-four respondents said they wouldn't or couldn't support either candidate. Petitions to try and get polling groups like Gallup, Reuters and others to include Johnson have had limited support.
These outward indicators are bolstering Johnson's confidence that he can be a spoiler to a system he says is hell-bent on keeping insurgent candidates at bay.
"Unlike any other. This could be. The two party dinosaur may get hit with a comet here."
Are you buying what Johnson's selling... is the system rigged?