DENVER — The final official number of Libertarian Party delegates registered as of this morning’s cutoff time is 562. That means that presidential candidates hoping to participate in tonight’s televised debate will need 57 tokens to qualify. (Each registered delegate is issued one token to give to the candidate of his, her, or its choice.) The cutoff time is 1 pm Mountain Time (3 pm Eastern) about ten minutes from now.
However, since the official cutoff that sets the threshold, an additional 65 delegates have registered, meaning that additional tokens are available to the candidates seeking to qualify for the debate. One operative for the Michael Jingozian campaign was overheard saying that their candidate “needs at least six more” tokens. Meanwhile, candidate Daniel Imperato was seen soliciting passers by, “I need tokens.”
Operatives for the Bob Barr campaign were asking their supporters to assemble at Barr’s exhibition booth to form a parade into the convention hall to turn in their tokens. The Barr campaign is closemouthed about the number of delegates they’ve secured. They appear quietly confident that their candidate will qualify for this evening’s debate, to be broadcast on C-SPAN.
UPDATE: The Barr campaign just turned in 93 tokens to qualify their candidate for the presidential candidate. However, that sent up a cheer from supporters of Wayne Allyn Root, who turned in 94 tokens. This represents a strong showing by the pragmatist wing of the LP, since Root is also a telegenic ex-Republican. Meanwhile, candidate Christine Smith failed to meet the 10 percent threshold necessary to qualify for the C-SPAN debate.
UPDATE II: I’ve just been informed by a senior source with the Barr campaign that their token total was actually higher, but Barr shared some of his tokens with Mike Gravel in order to help the ex-Democrat qualify for the debate. “We wanted him in the debate…so we actually had by far the most tokens of any candidate,” the source said.