In politics, as in life, if at first you don't succeed: try, try again.
For Gary Johnson, a spot on stage in the first presidential debate this upcoming Monday alongside Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will be a no-go. However, he still has a chance to qualify for the next two debates and he plans to keep fighting to do so.
The Libertarian Party nominee is lagging in the polls and was registering below the 15 percent polling threshold set for candidates by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), which confirmed Tuesday that Johnson did not make the cut.
"The CPD may have excluded us from the first debate, but we can still get on the stage in October," Johnson said in an email to supporters and reporters Tuesday, making a prediction about the upcoming first debate Monday. "Hillary will call Donald an egomaniac. Donald will call Hillary a crook ... We are the only campaign that is offering an honest and positive alternative to the Donald's and Hillary's hate fest."
According to Real Clear Politics, Johnson was polling at an average of 8.7 points, which actually represents a slight downward trend for the candidate. Despite the low favorability numbers of the two major party candidates — Johnson's chief reason voters should give him a shot — the Libertarian's momentum has stalled thanks to a few recent gaffes that caused voters to question his competency.
Earlier this month, Johnson appeared to draw a blank during an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" when asked about Aleppo, the most populous city in Syria and a focal point of the Syrian refugee crisis. "What is Aleppo?" Johnson asked incredulous host Mike Barnicle.
Johnson got into more trouble this week when, in response to the bombings in New York City and New Jersey over the weekend, he told CNN that he "was grateful that nobody got hurt." The bombings injured 29 people.
Johnson has argued that the media has not given him a proportionate amount of coverage and, therefore, a fair shot at courting voters' support. He has proposed that the debate commission put him on the stage for the first debate and if he does not rise above the 15 percent mark after that, then he will not complain about further debates.
The first presidential debate is scheduled for Monday and is slated to be moderated by NBC News' Lester Holt at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. The second debate will take place Oct. 4 in Farmville, Virginia, while the third debate will be Oct. 9 in St. Louis, Missouri.