WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court says a lawsuit by two third-party candidates over their exclusion from presidential debates in 2012 was properly dismissed. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled Tuesday that a lower court correctly dismissed a lawsuit brought by Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein. The candidates alleged they were improperly excluded from the televised debates between President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Johnson and Stein were excluded from the debates because polls showed them with less than 15 percent support. A lower court dismissed the case, saying in part that an alleged harm the candidates claimed — a lack of media coverage that led to low popularity — preceded their exclusion from the debates.