Oct 24, 2012 - Concord, NH: Libertarian candidates John Babiarz for Governor, Brendan Kelly for Congress #1, and Hardy Macia for Congress #2 are have been excluded from next week's Granite State Debate sponsored by WMUR and The Union Leader.
Initial response on their exclusion from Alisha McDevitt at WMUR via email was "As a news department, we follow federal communications law by using good-faith journalistic judgment and objective factors including polling to decide which candidates should be invited to these forums. None of the Libertarian nominees for governor or Congress have qualified for invitations."
Follow up to McDevitt for what their polling criteria used went unanswered. After several additional attempts a letter from the WMUR's legal department was sent to the Libertarian candidates removing any mention of using objective polling criteria.
Libertarian candidates were excluded from the previous debates (AAPR debate, Concord Greater Chamber debate) because they didn't met the 3 percent polling threshold. New polling from the University of New Hampshire Survey Center shows both Babiarz and Kelly at 3 percent, and the number of Undecided/Other voters have increased by up to 22 points since the Libertarians have qualified for the ballot.
Hardy Macia stated, "This increase in undecided voters is likely due to WMUR's inclusion of Libertarian candidates in their daily "Questions for the candidates" piece. I've had a lot of strangers telling me they've seen me on TV and they like what they hear as compared to the other candidates. They are looking for change from the abysmal 9% approval rating Congress currently has."
Macia continued, "Leaving the decision up to the debate sponsors as to who they wish to present to New Hampshire voters should have every voter outraged. There are only three candidates in these races, and voters should be able to hear from all three candidates."
John Babiarz stated "if they are on the ballot then they are valid candidates for the debates."
John Babiarz Governor:
Brendan Kelly Congressional #1:
Hardy Macia Congressional #2:
University of New Hampshire Survey Center Polling:
Letter from WMUR's legal department.