Third party candidates excluded from debate

Nick Reimann

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DENVER (AP) — The commission that oversees presidential debates has invited only Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump to the first presidential debate. It excluded two third-party candidates who had hoped the event could help them talk directly to an electorate unhappy with the two front-runners.

The Commission on Presidential Debates said in a statement Friday that Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson and Green Party nominee Jill Stein were polling too low to qualify for the Sept. 26 event. The commission since 2000 has invited only candidates polling at 15 percent or above in an average of five polls. Johnson was at 8.4 percent and Stein at 3.2 percent.

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