The numbers in the polls mean everything, especially when the Presidential Debate Commission has set a bar of a 15% average in a specific set of polls in order to participate in televised debates.
The latest NBC/SurveyMonkey poll shows Gary Johnson at 11%, up from 9% two weeks ago, and inching toward that 15% mark (probably not inching fast enough). The same poll shows Jill Stein treading water at 4%, even with millions of potential votes from disaffected Bernie Sanders fans since the Westminster Kennel Cl—er, Democratic Dog & Pony Show in Philadelphia.
With Stein's NBC/SM numbers unchanged, her Real Clear Politics average remains at 3.0%; Johnson moves up to 8.5%.
I had expected Stein to receive a bigger bounce from the Democratic Con at the end of July than from the following week's "The Revolution Might Be on C-SPAN" Green Convention. After all, the Sanders delegates' walkout made for a pretty big news story and comic fodder for Samantha Bee. Neither convention really provided Jill much of a boost.
None of the polls that RCP tracks have Stein above the 5% threshold nationally, the minimum for locking in matching funds for the Greens' next nominee. Optimistic Greens and other #JillNotHill partisans might add the 1.2% margin of error to the NBC/SM figure to put her at 5.2%. It's not empty optimism when you look at the poll's methodology, including the demographic breakdown and the overabundance of land lines contacted.
At least the Stein/Baraka campaign can point to more victories on the ballot access front: As of this week, Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka are fairly well assured of having their names on ballots in 30 states, with more than 70% of the population. There are still more states in play. Stay tuned, as the clické goes.