As the September debate between U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden approaches, social media users trended #LetHerSpeak to push for Libertarian presidential candidate Jo Jorgensen to take the stage with them.
“The Commission for Presidential @debates can’t ignore the thousands of activists across the country making their voices heard today. The people deserve to hear a third party.” wrote Libertarian vice presidential candidate Spike Cohen.
“Will you stand up to voter suppression by democrats and demand Jo Jorgensen be allowed to debate?” one user asked Biden.
Jorgensen took to Twitter to thank those calling for her presence in the debates.
“All across the Eastern Time Zone #LetHerSpeak convoys are revving their engines in protest of the @debates glass ceiling of #VoterSuppression and #CandidateSuppression. Thank you.”
Still, not everyone was optimistic that the effort would be effective.
“Every year we demand that the media give 3rd party candidates a podium on the debate stage, and every year the two major parties ignore us,” one user tweeted.
As reported by Courthouse News Service, the D.C. Circuit rejected a push from the nonprofit group Level the Playing Field to have the Libertarian and Green parties participate in the debates. The lawsuit came after the Federal Election Commission (FEC) rejected a push for changes to the debate criteria. According to U.S. Circuit Judge Raymond Randolph, the current standards are not against FEC rules.
In his 13-page opinion on the matter, Randolph noted that there is no legal requirement that the FEC be more welcoming for independent candidate campaigns. Notably, the polling requirement to make the debate stage is currently 15 percent, which the Green Party called “exclusionary.” According to TIME, a CNBC/Change Research from July put Jorgensen at 2 percent support in the 2020 race.
Jorgensen was nominated not long after congressman Justin Amash — who has endorsed her — ended his exploratory committee into the nomination and decided against running for president. Per her campaign website, Jorgensen is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Clemson University who is running on a platform of reduced federal spending, ending victimless crime laws, and the elimination of tariffs, trade barriers, and immigration quotas.
Jorgensen recently had to skip a campaign rally after she was allegedly bitten by a bat. The psychology teacher said she was receiving a rabies vaccine and avoiding the event as a precaution. The U.S. Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention (CDC) recommends that anyone bitten by a bat received medical advice due to the possibility of rabies.