By Matthew Reece | Charlotte Libertarian Examiner
On Thursday, WRAL reported that North Carolina gubernatorial candidates Pat McCrory (R) and Walter Dalton (D) had agreed to participate this October in three statewide debates, one of which will be produced by WRAL-TV. But there is one more candidate who will be on the ballot: Barbara Howe of the Libertarian Party.
Howe has polled as high as 9%, but the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters, which is sponsoring the debates, has historically used an arbitrary polling requirement of 10% when inviting candidates.
“The voters of North Carolina deserve better,” Howe said in a phone interview with WRAL.
At the national level, the Commission on Presidential Debates also uses an arbitrary polling threshold of 15% to prevent third-party candidates from challenging the establishment. But at least in North Carolina, Howe does not appear to be suffering from the same degree of polling blackouts that Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson has to contend with on the national level.
The first two one-hour debates would occur on the same nights as the first two presidential debates between Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, and potentially Gary Johnson, but earlier in the evening. The third one-hour debate, scheduled for October 24 at 7:00 p.m., will be held at North Carolina Wesleyan College in Rocky Mount, NC, and will be produced by WRAL, NCWC, and the Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce.
In 2008, Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Mike Munger joined Pat McCrory and Beverly Perdue (D) in one debate out of five, as well as another debate that did not include Perdue.
Read in Original Context: Barbara Howe arbitrarily excluded from debates | Charlotte Libertarian Examiner