Libertarian Candidate Sarvis Not Invited to Va. Governor's Debate

But for one percentage point


Robert Sarvis and family
Robert Sarvis

A Washington Post poll put Libertarian Party candidate Robert Sarvis at 10 percent in the race to be the next governor of Virginia, but one poll is not enough to get him into a televised debate. The CBS affiliate organizing the a debate later in the month has relied on an average of polls at realclearpolitics.com that puts Sarvis at just 1 percentage point short of the 10 percent threshold required. Politico reports:

WDBJ7, the CBS affiliate organizing the Oct. 24 debate on the campus of Virginia Tech, announced late Thursday that Robert Sarvis has fallen just short of the 10 percent threshold for a third candidate to get on stage.

"As of this date, the third party candidate is polling at 9.0% based on the averages on realclearpolitics.com and would, therefore, not meet the guidelines agreed upon by the campaigns," emailed Kelly Zuber, the station's news director.

Sarvis' campaign responded on Twitter: "Goalposts kept moving. We got to 10%, so they chgd to avg, including weeks-old polls to drag avg down. We'll carry on, tho."

Ben Pershing at The Washington Post wrote a fairly lengthy analysis Wednesday of the complicated issues and negotiations around the thresholds of including third party candidates. Pershing explains what Sarvis' tweet alluded to:

More recently, as Sarvis's stock rose, the McAuliffe and Cuccinelli campaigns and WDBJ agreed to new language saying that the decision would "rely heavily on the averages of major polls as listed on RealClearPolitics," a nonpartisan site that aggregates poll results, as well as surveys released in the final three weeks before Oct. 10.

Reasons' Brian Doherty recently interviewed Sarvis here.

Today, Politico also made note of a Gallup poll indicating that a record number of Americans – 60 percent – believe America needs a third party. Read about that report here.