Will Jill Stein be in the first presidential debate?


In a word, no — Jill Stein won't be on stage at Hofstra University on Monday, Sept. 26 to debate Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump. And there is little chance Stein would have ever made it. 

The Green Party has experienced increased levels of support for Stein's presidential candidacy compared to four years ago. When she ran in 2012, she failed to reach 400,000 votes nationwide. This year, when a clear majority of voters disapprove of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, polls show Stein with nearly three percent of the vote. 

But that is a fraction of where Stein needs to be. To qualify for the debates, candidates must average 15% support in five polls chosen by the Commission on Presidential Debates. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson is closer than Stein at 8%, but he is unlikely to make the debates either.

And Stein's support has not substantially increased. She averaged about the same level of support in June that she has drawn now. And polls in 2012 said she could draw up to 2% of the national vote. She ended up with 0.3% cast. 

But Stein has had some success in drawing attention to her crusade to enter the debates. In 2012, she was arrested while protesting her exclusion from a debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. And this year, she joined a lawsuit with Johnson that claimed excluding third-party candidates from debates violated their First Amendment rights. The suit was rejected.