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Americans want Gary Johnson in the presidental debates. So why isn't he?

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Americans want Gary Johnson in the presidental debates. So why isn't he?

WATCH: Why Gary Johnson won't be on the presidential debate stage

Americans want Gary Johnson in the presidential debates, and not just because they want to hear what he knows about Aleppo.
According to a recent poll from Morning Consult, more than 50 percent of voters want the Libertarian candidate to stand beside Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.


So does former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who's been critical of both Trump and Clinton. 

Republican Mitt Romney wants Libertarian Gary Johnson to be in the debates.

This election cycle third party candidates, like Johnson and Green Party head Jill Stein, are polling higher than they typically do and voters want to hear how their policies stack up to the main candidates.

But at the moment it only looks like Trump and Clinton actually qualify to be in the debates.

So why isn't Johnson on the debate stage?

Well it's because of the CPD, or Commission on Presidential Debate.

Since 1988 the CPD has been the police of presidential debates controlling everything from timing, to location and even production.

According to CPD rules a candidate can't debate unless they are on the ballot in enough states to win 270 electoral votes, to be constitutionally eligible to be president and averages at least 15 percent in the latest polls from ABC-Washington Post, CBS-New York Times, CNN-Opinion Research Corporation, Fox News, and NBC-Wall Street Journal.

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From right, President Bush, Democratic Presidential Candidate Bill Clinton and Independent Candidate Ross Perot take the stage in St. Louis, Missouri, Sunday, Oct. 11, 1992, prior to the start of their first of three planned debates. The debate panelists sit in the foreground. (AP Photo/Greg Gibson)

It wasn't always like this, the CPD used to convene a panel of experts to determine who got to debate and who didn't. In 1992 that panel let third party candidate Ross Perot debate. 

But in 2000 to make it more transparent the CPD implemented the system we have today that stipulates a candidate needs to be at 15%. Under this system a third party candidate hasn't qualified for a debate. 

Detractors say this system isn't fair  because it prevents non-major candidates from participating. But the CPD contends that the rules make sure only serious candidates participate.


In the end whether it is fair or not the rules are the rules and whether Mitt Romney or 50% of voters want Gary Johnson on that stage unless he gets to 15 percent he's not going to be there.

Mike Pence just released his tax returns. He earned $113,026 in 2015

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