Gary Johnson May Seek Libertarian Nomination

Feeling abandoned by the Republican Party, former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson is weighing a Libertarian Party bid for president.

Gary Johnson is running for the Republican nomination for president but only Doug Mataconis has noticed. So, he’s thinking about running for the Libertarian nomination.

Santa Fe New Mexican (“‘Abandoned’ by GOP, Johnson could seek Libertarian nod“):

Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson knows he’s not going to win the New Hampshire presidential primary and that he won’t be the 2012 Republican presidential candidate.

But in an interview Wednesday, he said he’s seriously considering running for the Libertarian Party nomination for president.

“I feel abandoned by the Republican Party,” Johnson said in a phone interview. “The Republican Party has left me by the wayside.”

He’s been left out of all but two of the seemingly endless Republican presidential debates. His fundraising is low and his poll numbers are below radar level.

“If I’d have been included in 16 of the last debates we wouldn’t even be having this conversation,” Johnson said.

Johnson said there have been “overtures made” by the Libertarian Party. While there’s no guarantee he’d win the nomination, Johnson believes he’d have a fair chance.

The Libertarian Party is on the ballot in all 50 states, Johnson said. However, he noted the party’s presidential nominee has never received more than 1 percent of the vote nationally.

How earth shattering is this news? This story was published two days ago and Taegan Goddard is just noticing.

Johnson is of course right that he’s gotten a raw deal. You’d think eight years as governor of New Mexico would be enough to merit invitations to the debates. Certainly, he was no less plausible a candidate than Rick Santorum, Jon Huntsman, or Herman Cain. But the truth of the matter is that he’s a better fit for the Libertarian Party than the GOP.

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, US Politics,
James Joyner
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James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. There have been rumors about this awhile now, actually,. The fact that there becoming public suggests Johnson may make the jump sooner than I thought.

    And, yes, I have been the only person who noticed :/




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  2. One suspects that if he wants it, it is his.

    Of course, even if he does get the nomination, I’d wager the over/under in terms of percentage of the popular vote would be .5% (and I would only take the over if the GOP nominated one of the loons, giving some Republicans who want to vote the need for a credible “none of the above” vote).




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  3. @Steven L. Taylor:

    I doubt he’ll do much better than Bob Barr did in 2008, to be honest.




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  4. G. Vince says:

    The day after the ’08 election I sent in my papers to re-register as a Libertarian after voting as such. The GOP is no longer a party that is interested in small government. They were nice enough this go around to give Ron Paul a bit more speaking time but Gary Johnson who has more executive experience and it more qualified was brushed aside. If Ron Paul or Huntsman is nominated (which is about as likely as Eagles winning the Super Bowl), I would definitely vote for them. The other candidates seem all too eager to use government to control people’s lives and blow up half the planet in the process. It doesn’t pass with me. I hope Gary Johnson gets the Libertarian nomination and I’ll vote for him if he does. It’s a sad thing that such a candidate was ignored to the extent he was.




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  5. Jeremy says:

    I think it would be great if he ran as a “big-L” Libertarian. He’d be a perfect pressure valve for disgruntled Republican libertarians, other Republicans who just can’t stand what’s going on in the party, and even some disaffected Democrats. Even so, I think the highest percentage possible–if everything comes together, if Lady Luck smiles upon him–he’ll get maybe 2-3% at most. It really stinks, but 2012 just isn’t the year. 2020, maybe 2016. And those aren’t electoral victories, that’s just good performances.

    Maybe I should sign him up for Americans Elect.




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  6. Chris Berez says:

    I hope Johnson does this and gets the nomination. It’d be great to be happy about voting for an LP candidate for once.




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  7. Linton says:

    I get the feeling that Johnson would pull votes from both major parties, more so than Paul would in a third party run. If Johnson did run as a Libertarian, and Paul dropped out of the race and endorsed him, that would be quite a shake up. Of course there has been an odd silence between the Paul and Johnson campaigns.




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  8. Attila says:

    As a Libertarian state chairman at the time, I encouraged and supported Johnson’s run for governor in NM. I think he is the best chance for the Libertarian Party and for the USA to get a true, honest, Jeffersonian-type “People before Politics”(his slogan) president.
    Who knows. Perhaps there are still enough people in the two parties who believe in individual freedoms (Dems?) and free markets (Reps?), and for sure plenty of disgruntled Independents to bring about the near miraculous change we need.




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  9. Just nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @G. Vince: I don’t think you understand; the GOP wants to want smaller government not to have smaller government. No GOP President in my lifetime (no President from either party as far as that goes, but the Dems don’t campaign on the issue [except when out of power in Congress]) has ever shrunk the size of the bureaucracy. The smaller government mantra is just for the voters–who also want to want but not have smaller government.




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  10. Just nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    Keep smokin’ guys! If we can get Johnson to be the voice for one group of “disgruntled” voters and Paul to be the voice of another, and Huntsman to do the John Anderson-thing and get the some one else to “hear the call of reform” and add those to the “American’s Elect cohort, we may be able to limit the GOP share of the electorate to whatever part of the Tea Party (provided they don’t nominate Palin or Bachmann) doesn’t stay home and the 5 or 6 sane guys in each state who support Romney to begin with.

    It worked for Al Gore in 2000, it can work for Mitt Romney this year!




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