According to a statement released this afternoon, the decision concerning eligibility was made by WDBJ7 in consultation with political analysts Harry Wilson from Roanoke College and Bob Denton from Virginia Tech. The terms agreed to by the campaigns of Republican Ken Cuccinelli and Democrat Terry McAuliffe were that Sarvis would have to reach a support level of 10 percent or higher in an average of major statewide independent polls listed on realclearpolitics.com taken between Sept. 19 and Oct. 10. Sarvis reached an average of 9.0 percent, and was therefore excluded.
The Sarvis campaign released the following statement in reaction to the decision:
“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.”