That's Just Mean: Libertarian Beitler Excluded from NC Senate Debates by Law of Averages

According to a report at UNC's Daily Tarheel, Libertarian candidate for US Senate, Michael Beitler, will not be invited to a number of October debates being organized by the N.C. Association of Broadcasters and the Educational Foundation, despite the fact that Beitler successfully petitioned his way onto the state's ballot by obtaining 100,000 signatures in support of his effort. In a campaign press release published at Independent Political Report, Beitler responded to the snub, arguing that such exclusionary tactics on the part of the media deny voters the ability to make an informed choice when casting their ballots:
"If you are on the ballot, you should be included in the debate. By excluding qualified candidates, the media is denying voters the ability to make an informed choice. We encourage voters to get informed and get out the vote," said Beitler.
The official reason why the establishmentarian media organization has excluded Beitler from the forums is a familiar one. The group's president, Tim Morrisey, says Beitler simply hasn't demonstrated enough support in any polls to warrant his inclusion in the debates. As reported at WRAL:
North Carolina Association of Broadcasters President Tim Morrisey said Friday that Libertarian Michael Beitler had not been invited to the Oct. 11 and Oct. 21 debates because surveys fail to show him with at least 10 percent support. Morrisey said the threshold has been used before. [Emphasis added.]
Perceptive observers of this race will note that Beitler has indeed demonstrated 10% support in at least one poll. Following the first debate of the season, which was held earlier in the summer and included the Libertarian candidate, Beitler received a noticeable bump in the polls, garnering 10% support in a survey by Public Policy Polling. At the time, I wrote that this might ensure his inclusion in future debates:
the results of this poll may well ensure that Beitler is included in future debates, as 10% support in a "neutral" poll is one criterion of inclusion in such forums for many media outlets.
I probably should have known better. Even though surveys do not fail to show him with 10% support, Beitler is still being excluded from the forums organized by the N.C. Association of Broadcasters. I contacted the N.C. Association of Broadcasters to inquire about this obvious contradiction, and was told that candidates must show an average of 10% support across any number of surveys in order to be included in the forum. As Beitler's support has generally hovered around 6-7%, and not broken through the 10% mark, the apparent ex post facto technicality ensures his exclusion from the NCAB forums. Beitler will, however, be included in an October 13th debate organized by the League of Women Voters, who are clearly interested in ensuring that the people of North Carolina make an informed decision when they cast their votes for US Senate.

1 comment:

Cranky Critter said...

That's a shame. A libertarian is going make things uncomfy for the others by saying what he really thinks while the others try not to offend anyone.

So many libertarians are ideological kooks that most regular folks don't even understand that if they are independent, they probably have a little libertarian streak of their own.