Serious question: do you honestly think a libertarian candidate has any meaningful chance of winning a Presidential election in this country, even if he were given "fair" media coverage?
The media focuses on the major party candidates because they're realistically the only ones who can win. Maybe that's a self reinforcing system, but it's realistic. I think it's hard to say there's some huge groundswell of libertarians waiting for enlightenment. A lot of Americans want policies that are generally libertarian, but the Libertarian Party is way too extreme on aggregate for Americans to actually vote for them. Even Gary Johnson won and governed more or less as a Republican, not as the libertarian purist role he's been forced to assume to run as a libertarian.
I know that a third party is going to win the election. What I don't get is why most polls don't just include them. There is almost zero cost to doing so - the cost being the poller's need to read more names. You could limit that to people who will appear on all 50 state ballots, which would be Republican, Democratic, Libertarian, and Green(?).
A new poll that does include Johnson has him at 10%. The thing is the only way for third parties to ever have a shot is to get some kind of recognition and they need to be included in debates. In an election cycle where 50%+ view both candidates as unfavorable, it seems like a third party has the best chance. It also isn't like Gary Johnson is the standard Libertarian that is "way to extreme" for Americans. He was a very popular Republican governor in a blue/purple state, and he is taking stands that fail most Libertarian purity tests (eg he supports public accommodation law). His running mate is another Republican governor from a blue state that fails purity tests due to previous support of some gun regulation.
I was too young to actually know what was going on in the Clinton/Dole/Perot debates, but I think it would be interesting to have a third voice present, especially when the other two voices are nothing but insufferable screeching.