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Socially Liberal Fiscally Conservative PAC


Gary Johnson 2016

govgaryjohnson  |  @govgaryjohnson @govbillweld


Americans Deserve Better PAC

Conventional Wisdom

- Experience provided by two former governors.
- Alternative to the two unpopular major party nominees.

- Not well known.
- Many Americans not familiar with the Liberatarian Party or even voting third party.
- Not a great orator, comes across as a bit casual.

Notes, Coverage and Speeches

-Election night rally at Hotel Albuquerque in Albuquerque, NM, Nov. 8, 2016.
-Foreign policy address to the University of Chicago's Institute of Politics at International House Assembly Hall in Chicago, IL, Oct. 5, 2016.

-Acceptance speech at the Libertarian National Convention at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, FL, May 29, 2016.

In 2012, as the Libertarian presidential nominee former Gov. Gary Johnson was on the ballot in 48 states and DC and waged an active campaign (+), but he obtained just 0.99 percent of the vote (1,275,804 votes).  He and his running mate, former Judge Jim Gray had to struggle for media attention.

In 2016 Johnson is again running as the Libertarian nominee, but the dynamics of the race are very different. 
The major party nominees, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are deeply unpopular, providing a window for Johnson to present himself as the alternative.  Johnson tabbed former Gov. Bill Weld (MA) as his running mate; having two former governors running gives the ticket a huge boost in credibility.    Johnson has achieved ballot status in all 50 states (+). 

The campaign focused its efforts on achieving the 15-percent poll showing required to participate in the fall debates sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates.  If Johnson could achieve that, it would provide a huge boost to his prospects.  For example, Jesse Ventura was able to win the governorship of Minnesota as the Reform Party candidate in 1998 under a similar scenario.  The low-key Johnson would not appear to be as dynamic a figure as Ventura, but Johnson has climbed the highest mountains on every continent, something very few people can claim to have done.

Johnson had a bit of a stumble in a Sept. 8, 2016 interview on "Morning Joe" (>) when Mike Barnicle asked him, "What would you do, if you were elected, about Aleppo?"  Johnson responded, "And, what is Aleppo?" 

In advance of the debates, Johnson's campaign ran radio and TV advertising as well as an open letter in the Sept. 14 New York Times (+).  Super PACs ran ads as well, and a digital ad by Alternative PAC's Balanced Rebellion project, "Dead Abe Lincoln," went viral (>).  By Sept. 15, as the Commission on Presidential Debates' announcement approached, Johnson's website reported he stood at 10.0% on the CPD average.  In addition to a podium on the debate stage, he also sought to receive the national security briefings provided to the major candidates (+).  However on Sept. 16, the campaign was dealt a severe blow when the Commission on Presidential Debates announced Johnson's polling average was 8.4% and it would only invite Clinton and Trump to the first debate (+).  Johnson is pressing on, but the road forward for his campaign is very steep.

Johnson-Weld picked up some endorsements, including a number of state legislators and one congressman, U.S. Rep. Scott Rigell (VA) (Aug. 6), but his candidacy did not attract any big name Republicans (>).  Nine newspapers endorsed Johnson -- the Caledonian Record (Aug. 9) >, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Sept. 3) >, Winston-Salem Journal (Sept. 11) >, Union Leader (Sept. 14) (>), Detroit News (Sept. 29) (>), Chicago Tribune (Sept. 30) (>), Daily Sun News (Sunnyside, WA) (Nov. 2) >, Danville Register & Bee (Nov. 6) (>), and The Post and Courier (Charleston, SC) (Nov. 6) (>).

After the debate setback, the campaign seemed to loose its edge, and there was a lot of talk about how it had not lived up to its potential.  Johnson himself maintained a curiously light schedule of public events, only doing one rally per day in the closing stretch.  Even winning one state appeared unlikely although the 5-percent goal appeared within reach (+).

Natinonally, Johnson tallied over four million or about 3.25% of the popular vote, "easily quadrupling the highest vote totals that the Libertarian Party has ever gotten in a Presidential election," according to Libertarian Party chairman Nicholas Sarwark (+).  Johnson's strongest showing, over 9-percent, came in his home state of New Mexico.  Other states where he achieved over 5-percent were Alaska, Colorado, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming.

Readings & More
Jeff Hayes, executive producer.  early Oct. 2016.  RIGGED 2016.  [film].
This film is backed by Patrick Byrne, founder of Overstock.com. >

Gary E. Johnson.  Sept. 27, 2016.  COMMON SENSE FOR THE COMMON GOOD: Libertarianism As the End of Two-Party Tyranny.  New York: Broadside Books. [Harper Collins imprint]
"Gary Johnson, Libertarian Party candidate for president and former two-term Republican governor of New Mexico, stakes his claim to the very center of the political spectrum. His new e-pamphlet Common Sense for the Common Good offers his approach to how a member of a third party, acting as the Chief Arbiter of the U.S., can restore sanity and functionality to the highest office in the land."   ...E-book
Gary Johnson.  Aug. 1, 2012.  SEVEN PRINCIPLES OF GOOD GOVERNMENT.  Aberdeen, WA: Silver Lake Publishing.+
"My seven principles have worked and continue to work in every aspect of my life.  To stay focused and true to these principles, I keep them written down on a small piece of paper in my wallet." 
...This project was first reported in late Oct. 2009, but publication kept getting pushed back.

  this page last revised November 6, 2016