Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson's chances at landing in the White House rest somewhere between slim and none. And the odds are sliding ever closer to the none end of that spectrum.
Johnson's path forward is especially difficult because, as of Friday, his support nationally was 6.6 percent, according to the Real Clear Politics average of polls. That's a long ways off from 15 percent, the minimum required by the Commission on Presidential Debates for a candidate to participate in debates. The commission does use its own polling average of major surveys, but Johnson has not come particularly close to 15 percent by any measure during the 2016 election.
The final debate is scheduled for Wednesday at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). The latest polls show that for Johnson to make it on the UNLV stage, he'd need a miracle, or a sudden change in policy from the Commission on Presidential Debates. The latest poll from Fox News conducted from Monday through Wednesday had him at 7 percent support, while Rasmussen Reports, which polled during the same time period, had him at 6 percent. The most recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey that polled from Saturday through Monday showed Johnson at 8 percent, the highest level of support he's seen since mid-September.
Johnson has lobbied to be included in the debates, even starting a petition on his website. Some thought he might pick up support after tapes surfaced last week showing Republican nominee for president Donald Trump bragging about sexual assault, but polling thus far hasn't shown any major bump. For now at least, it seems the final debate will once again be Trump against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Still, Johnson doesn't appear to be going away. Despite a few campaign gaffes — not being able to name a single world leader he admired, for instance — and his running mate Bill Weld seemingly more focused on stopping Trump than winning race, the Libertarian nominee has said he has no plans of dropping out.