In my research on how 3rd party candidates get shut out of the political process, I came across a startling result.
If a Presidential candidate (eg Michael Badnarik in 2004) has >5% of a major popular poll going into the debates then they are eligible, by law, to participate in the debate.
But the League of Women Voters, the group that organizes and orchestrates the Presidential debates, uses 15% as the minimum % needed in popular polls to extend invitations to debate.
5% by law, 15% by this organization, which is not a part of the federal government mind you.
This is disconcerting for the following reason :
Prior to the election of Jesse Ventura as governor of Minnesota, he had 8% support in the polls. He goes on to win the governorship, and is re-elected by a very wide margin. The people of Minnesota thought Ventura did a good job in his first term, and they voted across party lines to re-elect him, as he ran as an independent. But if he were running for Pres and not Gov, he would have been shut out of the political process, not legally, but by the League of Women Voters.
What a sham !
The 15% mark is completely artificial, and in place to deny a serious challenge by 3rd party contenders. Let them all debate I say. Let the people vote for the candidate they think will do the best, according to their system of beliefs. It is nonsense to have to vote for a jackass or a lunatic, but such is our usual choice with our failed duopoly.