Alter Inclusion Eligibility? If conservatives feel picked upon, perhaps it would help if the moderator had an extra candidate to consider – not to mention a third debater asking those questions the moderator failed to bring up.
At present, the Commission on Presidential Debates offers a slot to candidates who (a) appear on a sufficient number of ballots in enough states to reach 270 electoral votes and (b) have at least 15 percent of the vote in an average of five national polls.
Why not change to latter criterion to, say 10 percent? It might not have worked for Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson – two days after cutoff for the first debate, the RCP polling average had him at 8.6 percent. Still, like watching baseball teams scramble for a wild card slot, it would have been fun to see if Johnson could have made it to double digits.
By the way, Ross Perot was at only 8 percent in the polls when he landed a ticket to the 1992 presidential debates (although at an earlier point he’d led in the race).