The last Presidential debate will take place Wednesday October 19th with or without a man that FiveThirtyEight projects ten million people will vote for. Governor Gary Johnson won’t be on that stage because the partisan controlled Commission on Presidential Debates declined to invite him. The only way for him to get on the stage now is if one, or both, of the major party candidates chooses to invite him or declines to debate without him. There is a case for Trump and Clinton to invite Gary Johnson to the last Presidential debate. It could help or hurt their tickets, but there’s only one way to find out.
Of course, this isn’t a case for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton to invite Gary Johnson because it’s the right thing to do. No, no, this is a case for them to do so because it serves their own interests. They’ve repeatedly shown that that’s all they truly care about.
- The Case For Trump To Invite Gary Johnson
Donald Trump should invite Gary Johnson to debate because Johnson is popular with the millennials that Clinton needs. In some polls, Gary Johnson has been shown to lead among millennials (aged 18 – 35) or tie with Clinton. Other polls have broken it down further and found Johnson leading by double digits among those 18 – 25 years of age. In September, the Clinton campaign’s fears lead them to issue a fatwa to their friends in the media.
Various Clinton Super PACs produced attack ads and pundits spun stories trying to smear the Libertarian nominee. Those attacks show how seriously the Clinton camp is taking Gary Johnson. Donald Trump stands to gain a lot by inviting Gary Johnson to the last Presidential debate and thereby boosting his numbers. It could help him narrow the race significantly and close the gap in swing states where he’s fallen behind. Without the “Obama coalition” of young voters, Clinton’s path to the White House is much narrower.
- The Case For Clinton To Invite Gary Johnson
Although, inviting Gary Johnson to debate could help Hillary Clinton even more. As Donald Trump has imploded over the past weeks Gary Johnson’s numbers have recovered slightly. He’s gained a couple points in multiple polls as Republicans have given up their hope that Trump will ever change. Clinton could take advantage of this and present Gary Johnson as the #NeverTrump alternative. Having such a sharp contrast would assuredly swing moderate Republican support away from Trump and increase Clinton’s lead.
Although Trump has suffered huge losses in the polls there is still a chance that he could turn it around by November 8th. If there wasn’t, the Clinton campaign wouldn’t continue to release Trump tapes as they have been. They don’t want to take any chances. The best way to ensure that, is to help Gary Johnson gain more Republican support by granting him a spot on the Presidential debate stage.
As you can see, there’s an equal case for both sides. Gary Johnson could help Donald Trump by garnering more support among millennials. Although, the former Republican Governor could just as easily help Hillary Clinton by absorbing more #NeverTrump Republicans. There’s no way to know because every poll shows Gary Johnson is taking support evenly from Democrats and Republicans. It’s what makes him a true contender and not a spoiler. His candidacy doesn’t help either side more than the other.
With that said, either candidate should be willing to take the risk of inviting Gary Johnson to the last Presidential debate. The election outcome isn’t changed by his presence. Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have everything to gain by including Johnson and nothing to lose.