The bipartisan Commission Presidential Debates announced Friday that Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein did not qualify for the first presidential debate slated for Sept. 26.
In a press release, the commission said that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump qualified for that debate and their running mates, Tim Kaine and Mike Pence, respectively, have qualified for the vice presidential debate scheduled for Oct. 4.
“No other candidates satisfied the criteria for inclusion in the September 26 and October 4 debates. The criteria will be reapplied to all candidates in advance of the second and third presidential debates,” the commission said.
The decision comes after the commission’s board of directors convened Friday to apply the various criteria needed to become eligible. One of the key criteria needed to participate in the debates is a candidate has to have at least 15 percent support of the national electorate, which is determined by averaging the results of the selected organizations’ “most recent publicly-reported results at the time of the determination.”
The commission used surveys from ABC-Washington Post, CBS-New York Times, CNN-Opinion Research Corporation, NBC-Wall Street Journal and Fox News.
Averaging their results, the commission said Clinton received 43 percent support, Trump received about 40 percent and Johnson got 8 percent and Stein received 3 percent.
Besides that requirement, a candidate must have constitutional eligibility like being at least 35 years of age and a natural born citizen of the U.S. A candidate must also have his or her name appear on enough state ballots “to have at least a mathematical chance of securing an Electoral College majority” in November’s election.