Mabinty Quarshie writes for the Washington Examiner about a challenge for Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s third-party presidential bid.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s inability to qualify for the first presidential debate alongside President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump is a significant setback for the independent candidate’s struggling campaign.

CNN’s audience would have given Kennedy one of the largest platforms to sell his case to the public as an alternative to the two main contenders. But the infamous Kennedy member proved unable to reach CNN’s requirement of 15% in four reputable national polls and reach enough state ballots to garner 270 Electoral College votes, theoretically.

“Presidents Biden and Trump do not want me on the debate stage and CNN illegally agreed to their demand,” Kennedy pushed back in a statement last week.

“My exclusion by Presidents Biden and Trump from the debate is undemocratic, un-American, and cowardly. Americans want an independent leader who will break apart the two-party duopoly,” Kennedy continued. “They want a President who will heal the divide, restore the middle class, unwind the war machine, and end the chronic disease epidemic.”

But Kennedy’s failure to make the debate stage on Thursday is just the latest setback for his campaign, which has faced barriers to ballot access since launching his campaign, and as he loses momentum in polling.

Kennedy’s campaign claims it has been approved for ballot access in nine states: California, Delaware, Hawaii, Michigan, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah. The campaign also states it has collected enough signatures in 15 others. In theory, that would give Kennedy access to 323 electoral votes, but the count includes states that have not certified Kennedy.

Only five states have confirmed that Kennedy will appear on their state ballots: Delaware, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Utah, and Michigan, according to the Washington Post.

And although voters were once weary of the rematch between Trump and Biden, their appetite to back another candidate doesn’t appear as strong as it once was, as Kennedy’s poll numbers have decreased over time.