Suffolk University Boston is out with a new poll showing that 26 percent of Floridians have never heard of Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson. And the 30 percent of Floridians have heard his name but do not know enough about him to have an opinion about him. That is 56 percent of the electorate ignorant of a credible, qualified candidate running to be the next president. The general media, whose journalistic duty is to inform the constituency, has abdicated their responsibility in treating Johnson and Green Party Jill Stein with the respect and credibility they bring to the table. If there was ever an election the general media had an obligation to cover Johnson and Stein it is clearly the 2016 presidential election.
Stein has it worse than Johnson, as the poll reveals that over 34 percent of Floridians have never heard of her; and, like Johnson, the 30 percent who have heard her name do not know enough about her to consider her. It is the general media fully admits they are who got Republican Donald Trump to where he is today. The general media, owned by a handful of corporations, choose who the masses will hear about and they have chosen that Johnson and Stein will get minimal coverage. They will do some specials on them here and there creating a quick media splash, but the next hour they go back to their reporting as usual — excluding the names of Johnson and Stein from their regular reporting on the 2016 presidential race. This exclusion has the effect of decreasing the credibility of these two candidates in most American’s minds. I am told repeatedly that they would vote for Johnson if he had a chance to win, but they will vote for either the Democrat or Republican instead.
Meanwhile, the poll, as well as most other polls, find that Floridians and Americans feel that the country is headed in the wrong direction. Since most Americans feel this way, isn’t this the prime time for journalists to expand the visible choices for who will be the next President of the United States rather than continue the duopoly of the Republican and Democrat?
Florida will have six qualified presidential candidates who have won their political party nominations, yet most Floridians will have only heard of the Republican and Democrat. Granted, an argument could be made that three of those six will not be on the ballot in all the other 50 states of the nation; however, that is not the case with Johnson. Gary Johnson’s name will appear on the ballot in all 50 states alongside Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. So why not include his name alongside Clinton and Trump when reporting the regular news concerning the presidential election? Instead, the media has spent countless hours of valuable airtime this past weekend discussing where a couple people are going to be seated at tonight’s presidential debate. The general media is giving Americans nothing more than political theater and they are the ultimate deciders who Americans see and who they tuck away under the newsdesk.
Although Gary Johnson did not meet the criteria for the first presidential debate, if he is able to rise in the polls to 15 percent nationally, he will be in the second and third debates.