The following post was taken from the Gary Johnson 2012 website.
In my opinion it makes the argument very persuasively that the people who make the decisions at CNN have made a rather large error by excluding the former Governor of New Mexico from the upcoming Presidential debate, the very purpose of which is to give exposure to the candidates, their positions and their track records so that people can decide if their candidacies merit consideration.
It's bizarre to say the least. Unless of course CNN is trying to mold the Presidential field instead of report on it.
After you read it and all the excellent points and historical facts that are contained in it you can also watch Governor Johnson being interviewed about the subject on Fox News in the video below. In my opinion it's worth your time to learn about someone who is quite different from any other candidate of either party.
If CNN won't do it, this blog will take up the job. It will serve them right when this blog gets bigger than their network because of their hubris.
June 6, 2011, Santa Fe, NM – A senior advisor to former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson’s presidential campaign, Ron Nielson, today sent the following letter to CNN concerning Governor Johnson’s exclusion from the June 13 New Hampshire primary debate:
“The Gary Johnson for President campaign has been overwhelmed over the weekend with phone calls and emails all asking the same question: How is it that Governor Johnson is being excluded from the June 13 New Hampshire presidential primary debate? Of course, they are asking the wrong people.
“Having heard nothing to the contrary from you, the debate sponsors, we assume the decision not to invite Governor Johnson was based upon your “objective” polling criteria. Certainly, you have to apply criteria. We get that. However, the idea that inclusion – or exclusion – from a critical debate in a critical state will be based entirely upon polling arithmetic, seven months before a single vote is cast, is not only absurd, but counter-intuitive to the very purpose of a debate.
“At this point in the process, a candidate’s ranking in the polls is almost entirely a factor of name identification, news coverage by outlets such as yours, money, and/or previous exposure on the national level – including that gained from previous unsuccessful campaigns. In short, relying solely on polling numbers at this stage simply grants an enormous advantage to “establishment” candidates – and excludes a successful two-term governor whose express purpose in running is to give Americans an alternative to business as usual, and who actually has a track record to back it up.
“Given that poll rankings at this point are largely the result of decisions by the elite media, such as CNN, about who and what to cover – and to whom to give precious air time, it is more than a little ironic when those same media use those poll numbers to deem certain candidates deserving and others not. That irony is not lost on Republican primary voters who most assuredly do not want media elites pre-selecting their candidates for them.
“Consider: In early 1991, then-Governor Bill Clinton was in 11th place in presidential primary polling with 2%. By November of 1991, he was only at 6%, a fact which led one commentator to later observe: “If the front runners in the 1992 Democratic primary had been successful in excluding all the “non-serious” candidates, Bill and Hillary Clinton would have never made it to the national stage.” The “frontrunners” in 1991, by the way, were Mario Cuomo and Jerry Brown.
“And there is this excerpt from a memorandum sent to supporters by the Mitt Romney campaign in 2007: “Carter, Dukakis, and Clinton were all governors of small states who began their campaigns with low national exposure and went on to win their party’s nomination. At this point in 1975, Carter was polling at 1%; in 1987, Dukakis was polling at 1%; in 1991, Clinton was at 2%.”
“In short, applying your criteria, the ultimate nominees in several modern elections would likely not have been invited to a CNN debate. And in each case, they were Governors of relatively small states who simply had not enjoyed the advantage of the national media’s attention – a rather precise description of Governor Johnson. The polls were not predictive then, and they are not now.
“The fundamental unfairness of relying solely on polling criteria aside, there are obvious problems with the polling criteria themselves. Even the most extensive and professional political polls carry margins of error from 3-5%. When reporting polls in which candidates are separated by margins within that range, the news media invariably points out that those candidates are essentially tied or the race is “too close to call”. While we have not seen your precise calculations, based on the polls we have seen, we have to assume that the “margin” between Governor Johnson and some of those who were invited to the debate were equally “too close to call”. Yet you made a call – and decided to exclude Governor Johnson.
“Adding to the mystery of your arithmetic is the simple fact that Governor Johnson was not even included in much of CNN’s own polling during the month of April – one of the time periods you used to determine eligibility. It is hardly surprising that a candidate would not fare well in a poll in which he was not included.
“Debates play an important role in the American political process. They uniquely provide an opportunity for voters to hear, see, contrast and compare candidates – on a level playing field uncluttered by funding, name I.D., past notoriety and public relations machines. Rather, they are about credentials, ideas, philosophies and policies.
“By those measures, a two-term Republican governor from a Democrat state — who turned a deficit into a surplus, vetoed 750 bills, and successfully governed from a philosophy many, many Republicans are today seeking – deserves a chance to participate in the June 13 debate. Early and largely irrelevant polling arithmetic certainly should not trump the obvious: Gary Johnson has a record, a resume and the proven accomplishments to merit inclusion among any serious gathering of Republican candidates for president.
“We respectfully ask that the decision to exclude Governor Johnson be revisited, and that the American people be given an opportunity to hear a voice on June 13 that otherwise will not be heard.
Gary Johnson 2012”
Don't be timid about passing a link to this story around, it's not right to allow these news organizations to pick and choose what we hear. Particularly when we need to pay attention like never before.