The final televised debate of the Virginia governor's race will not feature the Libertarian candidate.
Organizers of the debate at Virginia Tech later this month, formally notified Robert Sarvis (L) on Thursday that he would not be allowed on stage. Organizers cited Sarvis failing to achieve a 10% mark in an average of the ten most recent statewide polls, as tracked by RealClearPolitics.com.
Sarvis has seen his numbers rise in the past few weeks, surpassing 10% in two polls, and hitting 10% in two others. However, Sarvis' recent strength could not overcome weaker showings from September, adding up to a 9% average of the ten polls.
The Sarvis campaign released this statement Thursday night:
"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."