Speed Reads

Be prepared

Could the general election debates involve 3 candidates?

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump might have some company on the debate stage in September. Politico reported Tuesday that the Commission on Presidential Debates has advised universities hosting the upcoming general election debates to have a third lectern ready to go "just in case." When asked about the possibility of Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson or Green Party nominee Jill Stein making the stage, Commission on Presidential Debates Co-Chair Mike McCurry told Politico, "Some of our production people may have said, 'Just in case, you need to plan out what that might look like.'"

Producers from the commission insist the directive they've given universities is more about being as prepared as possible than it is a "reflection of the state of the race," Politico reported. For a candidate to debate, he or she must "appear on a sufficient number of state ballots to have a mathematical chance of winning a majority vote in the Electoral College," the commission determined last year, and have at least 15 percent support in the national polls. Johnson has 8.8 percent support right now, and Stein has about 3.8 percent.

The commission says it might "consider giving an inch" to a third-party candidate who nears the requisite percentage. "We won't know the number of invitations we extend until mid-September," McCurry said.

As of now, there are three presidential debates and one vice presidential debate scheduled. The first debate is slated for Sept. 26 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.