It is a big week for both Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein. On Monday, August 15, the Johnson-Weld campaign dropped a huge money bomb to raise $1.5 million in a single day, while Stein and her running-mate, Ajamu Baraka, will make their case to the American people during a CNN town hall Wednesday.
Both Johnson and Stein want to boost their presence in the national political spotlight in order to qualify for the fall presidential debates. In order to do so, the Commission on Presidential Debates requires minor party candidates to poll at 15% in 5 national polls. Governor Johnson and his running-mate, Gov. Bill Weld, are close to meeting this threshold.
Johnson is already polling at 15% in key battleground states like Colorado, as well as the Midwest. He polls as high as 13% in national polls. However, the former governor of News Mexico, along with Dr. Stein, continue to face a major hurdle as traditional media outlets — like TV news — continue to ignore their campaigns.
According to Gallup, approximately two-thirds of voters are still not familiar with Johnson or Stein. However, both candidates are pulling in large numbers among young voters. Johnson, for instance, leads the field of candidates among Millennials in at least one poll.
READ MORE: POLLS: Young Voters Want Johnson and Stein
In order to help boost Governor Johnson’s presence in national polls, his campaign dropped a #15for15 money bomb Monday to raise $1.5 million in 24 hours. According to campaign insiders, Johnson nearly reached this goal from approximately 70,000 individual donors ahead of the big event.
Johnson also released a new video online Saturday that highlights the anger and divisiveness in the media and across the country over Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, pointing to an alternative candidate who is on the ballot in all 50 states:
Meanwhile, Dr. Stein is making major progress in her ballot access campaign. According to a campaign press release sent out Friday, the Greens’ presidential ticket is now on the ballot in 28 states, and is awaiting confirmation in 7 more states. The Stein-Baraka campaign will also be filing signatures in the 12 remaining states with petition deadlines from now until September 9.
“The enthusiasm for and success of our petition drives is proof that everyday Americans want more options on the ballot. It is time for us to demand open debates, not a rigged one sponsored by a commission controlled by the two major parties. Any candidate on the ballot in enough states to win the election needs to be in the debates,” said Stein’s campaign chair, Gloria Mattera.
Stein and Baraka will take the national stage Wednesday during a CNN town hall. CNN has already hosted two Libertarian town halls with Johnson and Weld. The Green candidates will have a similar opportunity to explain their platform and make the case to the American people that they are a better alternative to the two major party tickets. The Green Party town hall will begin at 9 pm ET / 6 pm PT on Wednesday.