Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis sat with his wife as his competitors, Ken Cuccinelli and Terry McAullife, battled it out on the stage of the Haymarket Theatre on Thursday night.
With each candidates' affront on the other’s credibility and political stance, Sarvis sat silent, but deployed his own counters and parries via his Twitter account.
Despite a rise in Sarvis’ polling position, he was excluded from the final debate after failing to meet the 10 percent poll percentage requirement set by the host network, Roanoke CBS affiliate WDBJ-7.
When the decision was made to exclude Sarvis on Thursday, Nov. 10, Sarvis’ poll ratings stood just shy of the cutoff at nine percent, according to a poll conducted by realclearpolitics.com.
Since then, the Libertarian candidate’s ratings have continued to rise. As of the night of the debate, Sarvis estimated his ratings “between nine percent and 13 percent." This was consistent with realclearpolitics.com, who, on the night of the debate, reported Sarvis as controlling 10 percent of the poll, a historic high for an independent candidate.
His wife, Astrid Sarvis, posted a video on Oct. 18 conveying her disappointment with her husband’s exclusion from the debate.
In the video, she makes an emotional plea for WDBJ to reconsider their decision to exclude him based on his rising average polling numbers, that, as of Oct. 18, were above the 10 percent cutoff and were continuing to trend upwards.
“To the McAuliffe and Cuccinelli camps, I’d like to challenge you to do what is fair and ask for my husband’s inclusion in the debate,” said Astrid Sarvis in the video.
Astrid Sarvis’ requests were not fulfilled.
“I sort of recorded the video in the spur of the moment,” Astrid Sarvis said later, discussing the video. “It didn’t get the exact outcome I was hoping for.”
Prior to the debate, Sarvis hosted a rally between the Squires Student Center and the Top of the Stairs restaurant where students were encouraged to come out and ask the candidate questions pertaining to state universities and general public policy.
“Young people are, in many ways, underserved by the system. [Students] are going to graduate with a lot of debt and come out to an economy where there’s not a lot of jobs available,” Sarvis said.
Following the rally, Sarvis was eager to meet his supporters in front of Haymarket Theatre prior to the debate, and continued speaking with students and attendees after the debate.