The final scheduled Virginia gubernatorial debate will proceed without Libertarian nominee Robert C. Sarvis.
Organizers of the Oct. 24 debate at Virginia Tech announced today that the debate will take place with Republican nominee Ken Cuccinelli and Democrat Terry McAuliffe.
In a statement, Kelly Zuber, news director of WDBJ7, which is co-hosting the debate with Virginia Tech, said both major party campaigns agreed to language that the third-party nominee would be invited to participate if he was polling at 10 percent or greater in “major statewide independent polls” released within the three weeks ahead of Oct. 10.
The eligibility decision was to rely heavily on the averages of major polls on www.realclearpolitics.com and as of today they said Sarvis is polling at 9 percent based on the averages.
The debate will take place at 7 p.m. on Oct. 24.
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In a statement tonight, Sarvis decried the decision.
"We all know what happened here. As the goalposts kept changing over the past couple weeks, it became clear that the decision would be made on the basis of measures that have the patina of objectivity, but in fact are designed to exclude.
"A decision made two weeks in advance of the debate—an eternity this close to Election Day—based on an average of polls released over a three-week window effectively anchors us to the lower numbers of older polls, even though our numbers continue to rise in every poll. I am disappointed, but not surprised.
"Our political system has been distorted for the benefit of the two incumbent parties and no longer serves the voters of Virginia. That's why this campaign is such a breath of fresh air for so many people and why I remain undeterred.
"To the voters of Virginia, I say this: I won't let anyone take away your right to hear from all the candidates. I will carry on the campaign and show you why I am - and my vision for a Virginia that’s both 'Open-minded and Open for Business' is - the best choice for governor of Virginia."