This election has seen many Americans expressing profound dissatisfaction with both major parties. Even though both major candidates have their ardent supporters, Clinton and Trump’s likability numbers remain the lowest in recent memory. This is causing some to jump ship to other candidates, whether or not they have a chance of winning.
For instance, countless Bernie Sanders supporters have defected to the Green Party camp, lead by Jill Stein. (Hence the hashtag #JillNotHill.)
On the other side of the aisle, some Republicans are toying with the idea of voting for Libertarian Gary Johnson instead of Donald Trump. It’s reached the point where the organizers of the upcoming televised presidential debates have to make contingency plans.
As Politico reports:
The directive comes from producers working for the Commission on Presidential Debates and it’s meant, they say, to force the university hosts to be prepared and not as a reflection of the state of the race.
“With [former Gov.] Gary Johnson polling in some places more than double digits, they might have, some of our production people may have said, ‘Just in case, you need to plan out what that might look like,’” Commission on Presidential Debates co-chair and former Bill Clinton White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry told POLITICO.
To participate in one of the four general-election debates (three for president, one for vice president), candidates must be eligible for the presidency and (…) have a level of support nationally of at least 15 percent as “determined by five selected national public opinion polling organizations.”
Of the two outliers, Johnson, who is currently polling at just under 9 percent, comes closest to meeting that criteria. If both candidates make it to the stage, the debate preparation for Trump and Hillary will have to be completely thrown out and rewritten. It’s just another twist in an already historic election.