With the U.S. electorate polarized like never before and the “NeverHillary” and “NeverTrump” campaigns kicking into high gear, third-party Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson may be the answer America is looking for.
Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico, who secured the Libertarian nomination this weekend, is already polling at 10 percent against both Hillary and Trump and is being backed by at least one super PAC, reports the Washington Post.
“This is a national ticket. We can offer something meaningful and realistic to the country.”
Many voters are now turning to Johnson, who could well be the Ralph Nader of 2016, as a viable option instead of Trump or Hillary, who are both hated at historically high levels.
Even if he doesn’t win the presidency, Johnson could still upset the plans of both Hillary and Trump.
A group of anti-Trump Republicans recently got together to discuss plans to run a third-party candidate in hopes of denying the White House to both the Republican presumptive nominee and Hillary Clinton.
Their hope was to run a candidate who could win just enough support to stop anyone from earning the 270 electoral votes needed to become president, thereby forcing the decision onto the House of Representatives, as outlined in the constitution.
A Gary Johnson Libertarian candidacy could do just that.
Although the Libertarian Party has never garnered more than 1 percent of the national vote, Johnson wouldn’t necessarily need big numbers to have a big effect on the election.
Ralph Nader proved that a low-polling candidate could have a huge effect on the general election when he stole sorely needed votes in crucial areas from Democratic candidate Al Gore in 2000, reports the Chicago Tribune.
“Sanders supporters averse to supporting Clinton might give the libertarians a look. For now.”
Although Clinton has vowed to bring in better paying jobs, repair the country’s infrastructure, toughen labor laws, and decrease student debt, she is viewed by many as part of the problem, reports the Washington Post.
“She’s not going to change anything because she’s part of the people in power. She’s not part of us. It’s as simple as that.”
That’s where the relatively unknown third-party Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson comes in, and Republicans who have vowed never to vote for Trump could also find themselves supporting the former New Mexico governor.
The two parties have a lot in common such as a fierce devotion to free markets, an opposition to tax increases, and hatred of big government.
Donald Trump, however, dismissed the danger his campaign faces from a Johnson Libertarian candidacy Tuesday when he labeled the former New Mexico governor a fringe candidate, according to the Washington Times.
“I think he’s a fringe candidate, you want to know the truth. I look at him and I watch him and I watch his motions and I watch what he says. I think that he is a fringe candidate.”
No third-party candidate has ever won the White House although Ross Perot did manage to pull a respectable 19 percent of the vote in 1992. A Gary Johnson candidacy could well capitalize on the anger felt by American voters and use it to catapult him into the White House, reports the Washington Times.
“I believe a real majority of American voters are going to be left without a political home in November. To those millions of voters, a successful two-term Governor with a solid record of fiscal responsibility and defense of civil and personal liberties could well be the mainstream option.”
What do you think? Would you support Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson over Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton in November?
(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)