Gary Johnson says he has made the ballot in every state



Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson says he has qualified to be on the ballot in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

"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 news release. "And today we also know that the only other option on every American voter's ballot will be myself and [former Massachusetts Gov. William] Weld," his vice presidential running mate.

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​​​​​It's the first time since 1996 that a Libertarian Party nominee has appeared on every state's ballot, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Johnson's main goal is to get into the first presidential debate of the general-election campaign on Sept. 26. The Commission on Presidential Debates, which sets the standards, says a candidate will need 15 percent support in five pre-selected national polls to qualify for the debate. Johnson has been averaging about 9 percent. But the latest NBC News/Survey Monkey weekly tracking poll gives Johnson the support of 11 percent of voters, with Democrat Hillary Clinton at 42, Republican Donald Trump at 40, and the Green Party's Jill Stein at 4 percent.

Johnson is the former two-term Republican governor of Mexico. He describes himself as a social liberal, a fiscal conservative and non-interventionist in foreign policy.

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Johnson and Weld are scheduled to run an open letter to the commission as a full-page ad in Wednesday's New York Times. It will urge the commission to allow Johnson to debate Sept. 26 even if he falls short of 15 percent, a Johnson spokesman said. The letter says, "Put a third podium on stage for the debate scheduled on September 26th. Allow us to make our case to the American people. If, in the polls that follow, we fail to meet that 15 percent standard, we'll make no further efforts for inclusion in subsequent debates."

The letter adds that a recent Quinnipiac poll found that 62 percent of voters want Johnson to be included in the debates.