Only Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Will Participate in 1st Presidential Debate

CPD announced that Jill Stein and Gary Johnson did not meet criteria.

ByABC News
September 16, 2016, 4:39 PM

— -- Only Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will take the stage at the first general election presidential debate this year, the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) announced today.

The CPD announced that Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson and Green Party nominee Jill Stein did not meet the level of support -- at least 15 percent of the national electorate -- to qualify for participation in the first debate.

The CPD based its information on level of support from the results five national polls: ABC-Washington Post, CBS-New York Times, CNN-Opinion Research Corporation, Fox News and NBC-Wall Street Journal. The CPD Board of directors averaged the five polls and found Clinton had 43 percent of the electorate vote and Trump had 40.4 percent, while Johnson lagged far behind with 8.4 percent and Jill Stein even further with 3.2 percent.

Johnson said today that he was not surprised by the CPD's announcement.

“I would say I am surprised that the CPD has chosen to exclude me from the first debate, but I’m not. After all, the Commission is a private organization created 30 years ago by the Republican and Democratic parties for the clear purpose of taking control of the only nationally-televised presidential debates voters will see," Johnson said in a statement.

"It is unfortunate that the CPD doesn’t believe such a voice should be heard. There are more polls and more debates, and we plan to be on the debate stage in October,” Johnson added. The second presidential debate takes place on Oct. 9.

The CPD will reevaluate who will be included ahead of each debate.

Clinton and Trump have both previously confirmed that they will participate in the first debate, set to take place Sept. 26 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.

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