Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, who ran as the Libertarian nominee in 2012 and garnered over a million votes in the general election, is polling in the double digits in a three-way race against major party front-runners Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The Washington Times reported Thursday that a new Monmouth University poll shows Johnson with 11 percent against Trump (34%) and Clinton (42%).
While that does not sound like a lot, keep in mind that Johnson is getting little to no media attention, doesn’t have near the fundraising or cash-on-hand as Clinton or Trump, and has yet to be named the Libertarian nominee. Johnson is polling at 11 percent in an election system that is designed to minimize the presence and support of outside candidates.
As no candidate comes close to majority support, it is clear that many Americans are simply not satisfied with what the major parties are offering.
The Washington Times reports:
“More than three-quarters of respondents didn’t know enough about Mr. Johnson, the former New Mexico governor and 2012 presidential candidate, to have formed an opinion. Mr. Johnson received more than 1 million votes in 2012 — a record for a
Libertarian candidate — which amounted to about 1 percent of the popular vote.
But 40 percent of registered voters said they had a favorable opinion of Mrs. Clinton, compared to 51 percent with an unfavorable one.
Mr. Trump fared even worse, with 30 percent reporting a favorable opinion of him and 60 percent viewing him unfavorably.”
For those unfamiliar with Johnson, he is an entrepreneur and served as governor of New Mexico for 8 years from 1995 to 2003. From a broad perspective, Johnson’s campaign is founded on the ideas of personal freedom and responsibility and making one’s own choices as long as it doesn’t negatively affect others.
Meet Gary Johnson, Running For President From The Libertarian ...Gary Johnson, who called Trump a "p**sy," is running for the Libertarian nomination for president Posted by NowThis Election on Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Video Source: NowThis
More specifically, Johnson supports replacing income and payroll taxes with a consumption-based tax system, congressional term limits, a more noninterventionist foreign policy, comprehensive criminal justice reform that would reduce the number of nonviolent felons, and marijuana legalization.
Public opinion polls consistently show that a broad range of voters could potentially get behind the platform of a candidate like Johnson. Americans are also angry with a system that tells them their vote doesn’t count. Voters feel unrepresented in government and with the only two real choices they are given each election, the Democratic and Republican parties.
Where will many Bernie Sanders supporters go when the primary season is finished? A Clinton campaign with no enthusiasm or populist appeal? Where will the anti-Trump movement turn? There is a case to be made that 2016 will see the strongest showing from a third party candidate and past election results and polling suggest that Johnson is going to be that third party candidate.
Stay tuned to IVN as we explore further the viability of a Johnson presidential campaign.
Photo Source: AP