Here’s why only Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump — at most — will make the debates

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (L) and U.S. President Barack Obama talk over each other as they answer questions during a town hall style debate at Hofstra University October 16, 2012 in Hempstead, New York. (John Moore/Getty Images)

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It’s safe to say that being included in the three prime-time presidential debates is central to the long-shot candidacy of Libertarian Gary Johnson. Being given a chance to speak to an audience of millions of people alongside the candidates from the two major political parties is the sort of thing that could vault his poll numbers from the single-digits into something approaching contention.

But the catch-22, of course, is that with poll numbers that low, he doesn’t get included.

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