Evidence against June 13 GOP debate sponsors CNN, WMUR, and the New Hampshire Union-Leader continues to mount as they persist in excluding former two-term Republican Governor Gary Johnson from the Manchester, New Hampshire debate.
WMUR and the Union-Leader have been inundated with calls and e-mails from concerned Americans, many complaining that they are embarrassing the state of New Hampshire and jeopardizing its status as a first in the nation primary state.
And now Johnson supporters recently released a video targeting CNN:
HOPE AND CHANGE
Johnson’s supporters are hosting a MoneyBomb for his campaign in conjunction with the debate, and cries for inclusion have come from different corners of the political spectrum — ranging from Willy Nelson to the gay conservative group GOProud.
Additionally, there is hope for Johnson supporters:
CNN tried to keep former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel out of the June 3, 2007 Democratic presidential debate, but his supporters flooded CNN/WMUR/Union-Leader with requests and their decision was eventually reversed. Mike Gravel was able to debate.
The specific criteria CNN and the other outlets are using to justify the exclusion of Governor Johnson also doesn’t add up. The first requirement for inclusion in CNN’s debate is that the individual be “a candidate,” but some of the invitees not only are not candidates (Michele Bachmann), but haven’t even taken a single official step toward becoming one (Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Sarah Palin). CNN’s own definition of a potential invitee is “a candidate”.
CNN selectively used versions of polls that included the names of spoiler non-candidates (such as Palin and Giuliani) in its listed criteria. Despite excluding other polls, Gov. Johnson does qualify for the June 13 debate under the “2.00% average of three polls in the month of May” category.
In the May 27 CNN poll, three different surveys were taken: One including spoiler non-candidates Giuliani and Palin, one including spoiler non-candidate Palin (but not Giuliani), and one including neither Giuliani nor Palin. In the survey that did not include the two spoiler non-candidates (who, as non-candidates, were not eligible for invitations anyway, under CNN’s objective criteria), Gary Johnson earned 2%.
In the May 26 Gallup poll, two different surveys were taken: One including spoiler non-candidate Palin, and one not including spoiler non-candidate Palin. In the survey that did not include the spoiler non-candidate, Johnson earned 3%.
Finally, in the May 4 Quinnipiac poll, only one survey was taken, and Johnson earned 1%.
So the May Johnson poll results using CNN’s poll sources are: 2 + 3 + 1 divided by 3, which equals 2%. View the poll data compiled here.
A Johnson supporter explains the math for all you visual learners:
Finally, in a just-released PPP poll, Gary Johnson leads GOP contenders in favorability ratings in their home states. Johnson is supported by 44 percent of New Mexico voters.
SKETCHY FROM THE START
GOP Presidential candidate Fred Karger explains how the CNN/WMUR/NH Union-Leader debate has been problematic from the very beginning. Says Karger, “The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is very clear on the rules governing debates stating that, ‘The organization staging the debate must select the candidates based on pre-established objective criteria.’ CNN’s criteria is objective, but was the criteria pre-established?” The following evidence was collected by Mr. Karger:
1) Invitations were sent to Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, Tim Pawlenty, Mitch Daniels, Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, Jon Huntsman, Sarah Palin and Donald Trump. When were the invitations sent?
2) Were the invitations sent out on a rolling basis, rather than after the criteria period closed? Donald Trump was invited, but he announced he would not run on May 16, 2011. Mike Huckabee was invited, but he announced he would not run on May 14, 2011. Haley Barbour was not invited. Barbour met the criteria after the April 22, 2011 release of a Gallup poll. Haley Barbour announced he would not run on April 25, 2011.
3) Jon Huntsman: Jon Huntsman did not meet the polling criteria until he received 4% in the UNH poll, which was released on May 23, 2011 at 5pm (pdf). Jon Huntsman announced he would not participate in the debate on May 27, 2011. In the three full days between 5pm May 23, 2011 and May 27, 2011, Jon Huntsman would have needed to receive an invitation from the debate sponsors and have decided to decline that invitation.
4) Herman Cain: Herman Cain announced on or before May 24, 2011 that he would attend the NH debate. When was he invited? Herman Cain met the criteria on April 28, 2011.
5) Rudy Giuliani: Rudy Giuliani qualified on May 4, 2011, when the UNH Survey Center released its Granite State Poll. When was he invited?
6) Polling firms excluded: Why did the criteria exclude the following polling firms: Rasmussen, Zogby, Public Policy Polling and Suffolk — all of whom conducted national polls on the Republican 2012 primary during April and May 2011?
7) Debate Date Moved: The Debate was originally set for June 7th, but was rescheduled to June 13th. The decision to change the debate date was announced on April 27, 2011. Why was the date moved?
8.) UNH Survey Center Polls: When were the UNH Survey Center’s two polls about the 2012 Republican primary (which came out in May 2011) commissioned? Were they commissioned prior to April 1, 2011 (the beginning of the criteria period)? It is important to note that in May 2007, the UNH Survey Center did not conduct any polls about the Republican primary.
The 2007 debate was also hosted by CNN, WMUR TV and the New Hampshire Union Leader. In this debate there were 10 participants: Sam Brownback, Jim Gilmore, Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, Duncan Hunter, John McCain, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Tom Tancredo and Tommy Thompson. The pre-established objective criteria for this debate was never released; however, by 2011 standards, it would have been a 6-man debate. During April and May of 2007, Jim Gilmore, Duncan Hunter, Ron Paul and Tommy Thompson did not average 2% on three national polls.
If the same criteria was applied 4 years ago, UNH Survey Center polling would have excluded Mike Huckabee, Duncan Hunter, Jim Gilmore and Ron Paul, all of whom would not have met (.pdf) a 2% polling criteria.
Please take five minutes to contact CNN, WMUR, and the NH Union-Leader and demand that Gary Johnson is included in their June 13 GOP debate.
A former Republican Governor should automatically gain inclusion in a GOP debate. It’s really that simple.
Also, please sign this petition for inclusion.
CALLING FOR INCLUSION
A variety of individuals and groups are calling for Johnson’s inclusion in the June 13 debate. A sampling of comments is found below.
“The decision to exclude Gary Johnson is completely out of step with the spirit of the New Hampshire primary. We endorse an open political process that keeps New Hampshire special. We respectfully request that the debate partners — CNN, WMUR, and the New Hampshire Union-Leader — reconsider this decision and welcome Gov. Johnson to the June 13th debate.”
– David Hurst
Chairman, New Hampshire Young Republicans
“When any media outlet decides they are the judge of a “viable” candidate, such as the denial of Governor Gary Johnson (in a GOP debate at St. Anselm’s College Monday), at that point they are usurping the voter’s right to choose a candidate. I say shame on any news agency putting itself in a position to decide which candidate is worthy for America to hear. Just on the face of this issue it seems un-American.”
– Jerry DeLemus
Chairman, Granite State Patriots Liberty PAC
“Man, Gary Johnson’s supporters are dedicated, and unrelenting.”
– Jeff Winkler
Columnist, The DailyCaller
“GOProud has significant policy differences with Governor Johnson, particularly when it comes to foreign policy. However, we believe strongly that Governor Johnson deserves to be included and that Republican primary voters’ best interest would be served by having his voice in this important debate.”
– Jimmy LaSalvia
Executive Director, GOProud
“CNN appears to be aiding and abetting the attempted overturning of gay marriage in one of the five states where it is legal. CNN should lead the way and open up its debate to all serious Presidential candidates, not just some.”
– Fred Karger (who also wants to be included in the debate)
GOP Presidential candidate
“Sign the change.org petition to get Gary Johnson into the debate!”
– Willy Nelson’s TeaPot Party
Let us not accept NO as the answer. Doing so would allow CNN too much power over the GOP primary.