Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced Friday that he supports Governors Gary Johnson and Bill Weld appearing in the presidential debates for the same reason he supported nonpartisan elections in California: he believes we need an open political system, not a closed one.
Gov. Schwarzenegger was a major supporter of Proposition 14 in California, which reformed the semi-closed partisan primary system for statewide and federal elections to an open, nonpartisan system. He also supports Amendment V in South Dakota, which if approved by voters in November would also adopt nonpartisan elections for statewide and federal races.
Schwarzenegger joins other major political figures including Mitt Romney, U.S. Rep. Scott Rigell, and Mitch Daniels (who is a member of the Commission on Presidential Debates) in calling on the CPD to include Governors Johnson and Weld in the fall debates. The libertarian ticket also has the support of several major editorial boards nationwide.
Gov. Johnson is currently polling at an average of 10 percent in the 5 national public opinion polls chosen by the CPD to determine debate inclusion. This is 5 points short of what he needs to be included in the debates. However, he is polling over 20 percent in a few states, including Utah and New Mexico, and is over 15 percent in major battleground states like Colorado and the Midwest.
At the moment, it is unclear when the debate commission will decide if they will include a third ticket in the presidential debates. However, with endorsements mounting for their inclusion, the CPD may be pressured to include Johnson and Weld in the presidential debates.