On Wednesday & Thursday nights NH1 held a pair of debates for the Gubernatorial & Senatorial candidates from the Republican & Democratic Parties. The Libertarian Party nominees for those offices as well as independent US Senate candidate Aaron Day were not invited to the debates. The Ballot Access Fairness Coalition in conjunction with the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire held a pair of protests outside the NH1 studios to protest these closed debates.
Despite ballot retention requiring 4% in the general election (i.e. the vote threshold needed for a party to retain ballot access without needing to collect a burdensome number of petitions), Libertarian Gubernatorial nominee Max Abramson polling between 4-6% and Libertarian US Senate nominee Brian Chabot polling at 4%, NH1 only invited candidates polling over 10%. In short, NH1 set the threshold at a level that only the Republican & Democratic Party nominees could meet.
The protests – including one on a cold rainy Thursday night – served to bring awareness, not only to the candidates excluded from these debates, but also to the media bias that often serves to protect the ruling duopoly.