The Libertarian Party has just chosen former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson as their nominee for the 2016 Presidential election, and he is, both seriously and potently, coming for Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and the Presidency. Johnson won on the second round of voting.
Johnson, a former head of a medical marijuana corporation, is riding on a wild wave of anti-establishment sentiment, and in the three national polls in which his name has appeared, he has all 3 times polled at about 10 percent. He squelched his competition in the Libertarian primary race, which included tech guru and eccentric businessman John McAfee and populist former Tea Party-er Austin Petersen.
Leaders of the Party, including Johnson and some of his fellow candidates, have, in the course of the goings on of their 2016 National Convention, openly capitalized on the hatred expressed by large swaths of the partisan electorate towards the two front runners, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
It is precisely out of such hatred that Johnson and his party hope to ride to the White House. One major spoiler to Johnson’s viability would be US Senator Bernie Sanders’s presence, either as the Democratic nominee or as an independent or Third Party candidate. Sanders has not been clear about his aspirations should he lose the Democratic nomination.
With Sanders not in the race, the Libertarian National Party Chairperson is confident that at least some of his voters will be pulled over to his side. The challenge Johnson fires at the establishment, and the feelings shared with Sanders supporters that the system is rigged, are likely predecessors to such a shift in support.
According to multiple reports from the Convention, Libertarians pull from a widely varying part of the electorate, with nearly equal amounts of Democrats, attracted by social liberalism, and Republicans, attracted by fiscal conservatism.
One major hurdle for the Libertarians to cross is simple name recognition. Johnson is currently engaged in a legal battle with the Presidential Debate Commission to allow for his inclusion come the beginning of general election debates.
Below, you can watch Johnson’s acceptance speech, in two parts. In it, he implored the delegates to select former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld as his running mate, citing the benefits of his status, which include fundraising experience and capabilities. He passionately insisted that he has a serious shot at the White House, and, all things considered, he probably does.
And part two is below:
Featured Image is via Caleb Newton, author’s own work.