Gary Johnson, the Libertarian presidential nominee and former governor of New Mexico, will be on the ballot in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in November’s presidential election, his campaign announced Tuesday.
“With a majority of Americans wanting a choice other than Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, today we now know for certain that on Election Day, every voter in America will have that alternative option,” Johnson said in a statement.
Johnson’s running mate, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, will also be listed on the ballot.
Achieving nationwide ballot access is an important – and often challenging - threshold for third party campaigns. By comparison, Johnson fell short of the same goal during his last bid in 2012, when he failed to achieve ballot access in two states. (Johnson was not on the ballot in Oklahoma and only qualified for write-in status in Michigan.)
It’s also a point of distinction among the field of independent and third-party candidates vying for the White House in the 2016 election.
Green Party candidate Jill Stein is currently on the ballot in 45 states, including the District of Columbia, according to her campaign website. She is qualified as a write-in candidate in three additional states.
Independent candidate Evan McMullin, who launched a late bid for the White House as an alternative to Donald Trump, has achieved ballot access in nine states, according to an ABC News count.
The next big test for Johnson’s candidacy is whether or not he can make the debate stage, a goal that currently looks unlikely under the rules for inclusion as determined by the Commission on Presidential Debates.
Johnson is polling at 9 percent on average in 10 recent presidential polls -- more than double the 4 percent average for Stein -- but is still below the 15 percent average that is considered the minimum threshold for inclusion by the debate commission.
The Johnson campaign took out a full-page ad in The New York Times Wednesday, publishing a letter in which Johnson and Weld make their case to the commission for the inclusion. Calling the 2016 election "extraordinary and without precedent," they ticked off their qualifications as former governors and point to a Quinnipiac poll in which 62 percent of respondents polled expressed support for the Libertarian ticket's inclusion in the debates.