Libertarian Candidate Johnson's Honest Assessment of His Chances

Apparently, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson is more honest and forthright than either of the candidates for the Big Two.

Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson said it’s “game over” on any chance of winning the White House if he does not make it to the debate stage.

“Winning the election, yes, I would say game over,” Johnson said on “Fox News Sunday” with Chris Wallace.

Johnson would need to be at a 15 percent threshold to join Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on the debate stage. The Commission on Presidential Debates announced that the five polls it would use to determine that threshold are ABC-Washington Post, CBS-New York Times, CNN-Opinion Research Corporation, Fox News and NBC-Wall Street Journal.

This is not news. Most politicos know the rules and the 15% marker has been discussed on multiple occasions. Still, of all the third party candidates making a play to get the attention of a disgruntled and unsatisfied population, Johnson has been the closest to stirring up the political waters.

Johnson said he is at 10 percent in those five polls but has seen an increase of about 4 percentage points over the past six weeks.

“We’re optimistic we’re going to actually get into the debates,” the former New Mexico governor said. “We’re spending money right now in many states, and in five states right now we’re at 16 percent. So I’m just really optimistic.”

The first hurdle for Johnson, or any third party candidate remains in ballot access, and at this point in the election, Gary Johnson and the Libertarian party are already on the ballot in 39 states. That’s more than any of the other third party hopefuls.

Swing states remain an issue. In Ohio, Libertarian activists turned in thousands of signatures to gain access to the ballot, but the name of the candidate listed on the paperwork was Charlie Earl, a gentleman who ran for Ohio governor back in 2014.

Johnson’s people say Earl is just a “stand in” until the signatures can be certified and that Johnson/Weld will replace Earl’s name once that happens.

Earlier in August, however, the presidential debate commission began making arrangements, in the event that some third party candidate was able to receive the required 15% of the national polling, that there be three candidates on the debate stage.

In the interview with Wallace, he expressed that his initial goal was to keep Trump or Clinton from reaching the requisite 270 electoral college votes, thereby forcing the vote to the House of Representatives, and getting him the win as a compromise candidate.

On Sunday, however, Johnson was much more confident that if presented to the people against Clinton and Trump, he could win the election without going to a second ballot vote.

“The object is to win outright,” Johnson said. “If we go into the presidential debates with the polarization” of the Clinton and Trump campaigns, “we might actually run the table on all this.”

It’s not impossible.

If nothing else, it’s refreshing to see a candidate who isn’t so convinced of his own superiority that he’s incapable of admitting what his shortcomings are, or the obstacles that will impede a path to victory, without making a ton of excuses along the way.