It has been more than two decades since a third party candidate was invited to the Presidential Debates. Since the Commission on Presidential Debates enacted their 15% nationwide polling average requirement for inclusion only the Republican and Democrat nominees have appeared on the stage. That two decade losing streak for American voter may be about to end though. For the first time in American history, as far as we can tell, a former major party Presidential nominee has called for including a third party candidate. 2012 Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney says he wants to see 2016 Libertarian Presidential nominee Gary Johnson in the Presidential Debates.
Mitt Romney made the declaration via Twitter less than three weeks before the first Presidential debate is due to take place. It was the former Massachusetts Governor’s first tweet in over two months. Romney had been operating in near radio silence since first remarking to Wolf Blitzer that he was considering voting for Gary Johnson back in June. Not a peep has been heard since then. It appears that the former GOP nominee has not made up his mind on that front, but is still looking to learn more. The Presidential debates will provide a perfect avenue for that.
Although many people have been looking for an endorsement from Romney this show of support is nearly as good. Mitt Romney saying he wants to see Gary Johnson in the Presidential debates will give the Libertarian nominee a boost in the polls without any possible side effects. After all, Gary Johnson is taking even support from Republicans and Democrats and wouldn’t want a partisan endorsement to mess up that balance. The Governor has to keep both Trump and Clinton under 270 electoral votes – not just one or the other. Romney’s support behind debate inclusion provides the best of both worlds.
In short, this announcement is nothing short of earth shattering. The two party paradigm has been dealt a severe blow that will make waves throughout the political establishment. There is no more visible metric of two party dominance than the duopoly’s debates. For one of its former leaders to come out in support of a third party’s inclusion in the Presidential debates is historic. Mitt Romney’s support could very well be the final key to open the door once and for all.