Gary Johnson and Jim Gray Will Run for President Again in 2016

There has been speculation about the idea that Governor Gary Johnson would run for President again in 2016. This has been confirmed by R. Scott Moxley at OCWeekly.com’s blog. Apparently both Johnson and Gray have talked about and then agreed to run again in 2016, this time planning their moves far in advance.

Gray, Johnson’s vice presidential running mate, told a crowd this month at Tulane University that the two men have already decided a second run–next time with plenty of planning–is critical to break the stranglehold the two major political parties exercise over failed foreign and domestic policies.

Calling President Barack Obama and Democrats “financially irresponsible” and Mitt Romney and Republicans “socially intolerant,” Gray predicted voters will warm to Libertarian ideas as a route to escape present day “bipolar politics.”

After being locked out of the four presidential and vice presidential debates, Johnson–a former popular Republican governor of New Mexico and outspoken advocate of reducing the size and power of the federal government–won six percent of the vote in a recent national poll.

Gray is urging California residents not to waste their votes on Romney because Obama will undoubtedly win the state and its 55-member electoral college delegation. Instead, he is arguing that voters can buy real future change by supporting his party’s ticket, which might qualify for 2016 federal matching funds (and thus easier state by state ballot access) if Johnson nabs at least five percent of the nationwide vote next month.

Gary Johnson and Jim Gray immediately become the front-runners for the nomination in 2016.

86 thoughts on “Gary Johnson and Jim Gray Will Run for President Again in 2016

  1. Oranje Mike

    I think this is a good course of action. This would be a great opportunity for Gary Johnson and the Libertarian Party to gain momentum after the election. Obama is a horrible president and Romney offers a horrible alternative. I would hope people will finally see there is no difference between the two. If Gary Johnson gets enough votes next month, the LP could become a great force in the following election.

  2. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Gary Johnson and Jim Gray immediately become the front-runners for the nomination in 2016.

    Four years ago, Root claimed to be the front-runner for the nomination in 2012. A status that turned out to be meaningless.

    At this time, talking about who is the “front runner” for 2016 is just silly.

  3. PeterO

    If they continue to travel the country promoting their ideas over the next four years, they will be benefiting the party regardless of what happens at the 2016 convention.

  4. Darryl W. Perry

    I guess that makes him the 2nd person to announce his candidacy for the LP’s 2016 nomination, as I’ve previously announced my intentions to seek the LP nod in 2016.

  5. Richard Winger

    The Socialist Party built up its strength in the period 1900-1920 by running Eugene Debs in five of the presidential elections in that period (only in 1916 did Debs not run for President, during those decades). Part of getting votes is name recognition, and running a candidate more than once helps with that.

  6. Jill Pyeatt

    I also think this is a major reason You-Know-Who left the LP. His goal was to be the presidential candidate in 2012, and then he later said 2016.

  7. Stewart Flood

    Jill is 100% correct. That un-named wonk left because he knows enough of odds making to see that he’d be slaughtered again in 2016.

    When Judge Gray told me last Saturday that they were both running again I thought it was the best news I had heard in a long time.

  8. Jill Pyeatt

    I saw Judge Gray at Libertopia and told him how pleased I was to see how hard he and Gary are working to get their message out there. He’s very gracious and charismatic. I think it’s good news they’ll run again, also, although 2016 is a long time away.

  9. Stewart Flood

    Judge Gray hit it out of the park in Charleston. Even the electrician at the Yorktown who was there to setup/tear down after the event said he’s voting for them.

  10. Austin Battenberg

    So on the Daily Paul, the talk on the forums is that should Mitt Romney win the election, Ron Paul will (according to Doug Wead, one of his advisers), will run against him in a primary election in 2016. If Obama wins reelection, it looks like Rand is positioning himself to run for the Presidency. While he is no Ron Paul, I would support him in the Republican primary because of his voting record based on foreign policy, civil liberties and economics. (Most libertarians here would disagree with him on gay rights and abortion, but out of most other issues, he is pretty decent)

    While I would support Gary over Rand in 2016, I do believe that should Rand win the Republican nomination (and again, this is all speculation), a LOT of liberty minded folk, including Ron Paul supporters and many libertarians, would support Rand over Gary because the chances of him winning an election are obviously much higher.

    What are your thoughts?

  11. Steve M

    Ah think (always dangerous… at least to me) that Gary Johnson’s future as the Libertarian candidate depends upon his performance in this years election. It shouldn’t be assumed but it could be earned or lost come Nov 6th.

    On the positive side… in the past my house and friends would have produced only one libertarian vote…. it is looking like we might get 7 or 8 this year.

    I must do my best to not piss any one off in the next two weeks.

  12. Steve M

    Austin, let us finish losing this election before we start trying to figure out how to lose the next one.

  13. Austin Battenberg

    Haha, well the same scenario goes for whoever is the LP nominee. I’m just saying that the Ron Paul supporters are going to push for one of the two Paul’s, and will garner a lot of support from otherwise Libertarian voters.

    Btw: Aside from myself I have my wife and at least one co-worker that is DEFINETLY voting for Johnson. We’ll see about my other friends.

  14. Stewart Flood

    You are correct that the nomination in 2016 must be earned. But at this point in the 2012 campaign, I believe it it safe to say that a lot of us that are planning to be in Orlando in 2016 are supporters of a second run with the same ticket.

    Many state parties are working their tails off on this campaign. We all hope that this will have results, but voters can be stupid and they can vote out of fear and not conviction.

  15. Jill Pyeatt

    AB @ 12: I view Rand Paul with some suspicion, but I tend to think of him as a work-in-progress. That means I have no idea what he’ll be like in 2016.

    I saw a Facebook page the other day urging Robert Paul, Ron’s other physician son and brother of Rand, to run. Is it too early to look at the Paul grandchildren??? LOL

  16. Joe Buchman

    Judge Gray made this announcement on our conference call with our endorsed candidates earlier tonight as well.

    I cannot imagine a better use of my own life than in supporting their efforts. I am willing to pledge life, liberty and fortune to THAT cause. If they’ll have me, I’ll stay with the team.

  17. Trent Hill Post author

    The Paul grandchildren are in their 20-40s. So no, lol. I like the idea of having a Kennedy/Bush/Landrieu-like political dynasty of libertarian candidates.

  18. Trent Hill Post author

    “Four years ago, Root claimed to be the front-runner for the nomination in 2012. A status that turned out to be meaningless.”

    Maybe so. But I can’t imagine anyone else managing to beat a former two-term governor and a Superior Court judge from California. It’s the most impressive third-party tandem-resume since at least Anderson/Lucey. Perot had more money, sure, and Nader produced better results. But better resume? Not likely.

  19. Be Rational

    @20 Patrick Lucey was a joke and an embarrassment even to Democrats – a terrible Governor, failed and fired as Ambassador to Mexico, then made an ambassador at large to try to hide his disgrace – John Anderson would have been well advised to have stayed far away from Lucey.

  20. Trent Hill Post author

    Be Rational–Lucey was a two term Governor and an Ambassador to Mexico. That’s his resume. I didn’t qualify that with his own personality defects, accomplishments, etc. To the same tune, I wouldn’t say Perot would’ve been wise to stay away from Admiral Stockdale (Well, I would, but not in the context of this conversation).

  21. Be Rational

    Resume isn’t enough to consider. Lucey was publically known as a failed governor – he was “promoted” to Ambassador during his 2nd term to get him out of the governor’s office in Madison because he was hurting the Democrats future prospects in the state, a failed ambassador – he was fired by Carter – and a reputation as a drunk, swept aside by the Democrats …

    To anyone who knew about Lucey, he was a drag on Anderson’s campaign. To those who didn’t know about him, he had no effect whatsoever on the campaign. His resume was no help.

  22. Trent Hill Post author

    *sigh* nevermind. You’re not gunna give up on this hobby-horse.

    Ok, best resume since Lester Maddox – William Dyke.

  23. Gary Johnson Needs You !

    Harry Browne anyone ? If this is true will someone please send the judge and Gary a copy of Rothbard’s book I think it’s title is “For A New Liberty”!

    A second trip will be VENTED a little more by myself and I’m sure others. Using our Ballot Access by a very moderate libertarian with a very GOOD resume’ one time is a-ok. However without MAJOR numbers on Nov.6 a second time seems a little GREEDY to me. And history showed us a second time (Harry Browne) equalled LESS votes and MORE Party turmoil ! I chose to try and promote “rowing” together in the same direction this year, however a second campaign with little results this time will need to CHANGE and DROP some very UNLIBERTARIAN ideas used this time.

    The LP needs to put forth a SOLID libertarian message in the POTUS race, not some wishy/washy Republican lite mush that will NEVER move the masses in our direction. Free people don’t need government permission or regulations in 99.99% of life and I don’t want LP candidates impling it should have such power….

    Please Place ALL Johnson signs you have out NOW on major roads in your area. If you have written materials (pamplets, etc.) please place them. It’s NOW or never friends ! A LP ONE MILLION vote breakthough…….

    CARPE DIEM you may not have tomorrow or ’16

    DWP 2016

  24. Gene Berkman

    Rand Paul is up for re-election to the Senate in 2016, and does not have enough clout to run for re-election and in the primaries for President at the same time.

    Ron Paul was in Congress for 12 years straight, and for 6+ years previous, plus years of public advocacy of hard money and free markets, before he ran in 2008. Nobody in the Ron Paul movement has that kind of experience or the following it would generate.

    The two Ron Paul campaigns – 2008 and this year – actually provide a good argument in favor of Johnson & Gray running again in 2016.

    Ron Paul received 1.2 million votes in 2008, he recieved 2.1 million votes this year.

    In 2008 Rep Walter Jones was the only Congressman to endorse Paul. This year Jones was one of 3, including Justin Amash of Michigan and Tim Johnson of Illinois.

    In 2012 many more state legislators backed Paul than in 2008. Building your campaign over two elections is a good strategy.

  25. From Der Sidelines

    With this announcement, if the LP membership has any sense, their Bylaws committee, too, there will be a proposal in 2014 to change the Bylaws to finally move the Presidential nominations to the off-cycle conventions, then immediately use that to nominate them. This is a long-overdue change and the announcement provides the impetus to make the change. Of course, due care will be needed to make sure that there is an escape clause if future nominees are as awful as BarrRoot.

  26. Tim Doran

    Think about this:

    – 4 years of fundraising
    – 4 years of publicity and promotion
    – Building and growing the volunteer infrastructure established in 2012
    – 4 years of meeting and campaigning with Lp candidates across the county
    -4 years of building party unity and loyalty
    – 4 years of honing the libertarian message and its marketing to the general public

    If done right, this could lead to a much more organized and unified party that can focus on growth, fund raising and local electoral successes over the next few years that can help propel us into record gains in 2016.

    Also, as Gene mentioned, Rand won’t be ready in 2016 so no Paul in the race will not exhaust “liberty” donors the way Ron Paul’s primary did in 2012.

  27. Joe Buchman

    @30 and @31,

    I agree with both George and Tim.

    This campaign will shut down sometime after the election.

    At that point Gary and Jim may or may not be involved with campus organizing, fundraising, and other activity as part of advancing the cause of Liberty — NOT as candidates.

    At some point in the future there may or may not be a garyjohnson2016 campaign formed.

    IF that happens, then at the May 2016 convention the delegates can judge based on the vote totals from this election, and the demonstrated commitment to the greater cause of Liberty, who would be the best candidates for the LP to run from May to November of 2016.

    I’m working for the campaign now, frankly I have something of a bromace going for Gary Johnson (at least that’s what my wife tells me, and she too is quite taken by Gary, and for the first time in her life voting Libertarian not to support me/us, but because she wholeheartedly believes he’s the best of the six major candidates — she decided this during his body surfing at the rally in SLC BTW), I hope to be a delegate at the convention in 2016 and I do not know right now who I would support for that nomination.

    If I support Governor Johnson then, it’ll be because he has earned it.

    Joe

  28. ATBAFT

    #28 Huzzah. Same with #30. How about they appoint a “shadow cabinet” to answer all the nonsense that the President (whomever he is) will propose in the next 4 years. Keep the LP brand out there every week for 4 years.
    And do some fundraising and put the $$$ in trust. (Note to GJ campaign: why haven’t I, a LP life member and Vegas delegate, ever been solicited by the Johnson campaign for a contribution? Don’t say you can’t find me because Carla Howell’s LP solicitations come through fine.)

  29. NewFederalist

    The “shadow cabinet” idea has merit. If a libertarian spokesperson could be found for all the areas covered by the cabinet and independent agencies that wield power, lots of excellent media releases could be generated. Who knows, with the official departure of Crane from CATO as part of the settlement with the Kochs perhaps even their resources could be tapped into for expert input. It seems worth a try to me.

  30. David Colborne

    Honestly, I’ll be happy if they both continue to make periodic appearances around the country and work on building grassroots support. The LP doesn’t need its best and brightest getting lost in the LNC or any of the other ineffectual sub-committees that “power” our movement. It needs its best and brightest going door to door, making personal connections with people, and showing America that the Libertarian Party isn’t just a paper organization.

    GJ/Gray’s campaign has really helped with this. Here’s hoping it can continue to grow the party in the long haul.

  31. JohnJeremyVines

    The campaigns don’t already run long enough? They’ll now be running the entire term of the office being sought (and then some)? Am I the only one who thinks this is a terrible idea?

  32. paulie

    Note to GJ campaign: why haven’t I, a LP life member and Vegas delegate, ever been solicited by the Johnson campaign for a contribution?

    Good question. I thought the data sharing between the campaign and LPHQ had been ironed out?

  33. paulie

    At some point in the future there may or may not be a garyjohnson2016 campaign formed.

    It should be done as soon as possible.

    100 campus speeches each per year by the Governor and the Judge each for the next four years and constant data sharing with LPHQ = an LP far bigger than ever before by 2016.

  34. paulie

    We heard this nonsense in 1997-1999

    Why nonsense? The LP grew to a much larger membership than before or since, there were more candidates, more active local parties, etc. We can and should do the same and more once again.

  35. paulie

    - 4 years of fundraising
    – 4 years of publicity and promotion
    – Building and growing the volunteer infrastructure established in 2012
    – 4 years of meeting and campaigning with Lp candidates across the county
    -4 years of building party unity and loyalty
    – 4 years of honing the libertarian message and its marketing to the general public

    If done right, this could lead to a much more organized and unified party that can focus on growth, fund raising and local electoral successes over the next few years that can help propel us into record gains in 2016.

    Exactly.

  36. paulie

    With this announcement, if the LP membership has any sense, their Bylaws committee, too, there will be a proposal in 2014 to change the Bylaws to finally move the Presidential nominations to the off-cycle conventions, then immediately use that to nominate them.

    Good idea. Ron Nielson told me he agrees the LP nomination should have been earlier.

  37. paulie

    Rand Paul is up for re-election to the Senate in 2016, and does not have enough clout to run for re-election and in the primaries for President at the same time.

    I don’t know about that, he may just run for President, or for both. If Rand does not run I would not rule out Ron Paul running again, no matter his age. One of them will run, I can pretty much guarantee it.

  38. Robert Capozzi

    31 gp: We heard this nonsense in 1997-1999.

    me: Please elaborate. The events in 97-00 may not have WORKED OUT, but the notion that GJ could accomplish these sorts of things between now and ’16 sound seem reasonable to me. If they aren’t, why aren’t they?

  39. paulie

    If this is true will someone please send the judge and Gary a copy of Rothbard’s book I think it’s title is “For A New Liberty”!

    I’ve been told Walter Block is advising Johnson. So, he’s learning those kinds of things now…more so after the election.

  40. Mark Axinn

    I was a Browne delegate in DC in 1996.

    Thereafter Harry actively continued his “campaign” by public speaking, writing books and articles, and saying that he wanted to run again for President in 2000. That probably helped him garner some publicity so he could preach liberty to the American sheeple.

    George, how was that nonsense? He spent four years trying to educate the masses about liberty. Bravo Harry. If GJ and JJG want to do the same, more power to them. And if they do a real good job, the delegates in Orlando will reward them accordingly. Or not. That’s why we have conventions.

  41. Thane Eichenauer

    ABAFT@33

    “Note to GJ campaign: why haven’t I, a LP life member and Vegas delegate, ever been solicited by the Johnson campaign for a contribution?”

    Why wait until they ask? His campaign phone number is listed at: http://www.garyjohnson2012.com/contact

    If you are waiting for an answer to your question I urge you to ask it by calling the campaign. If you are waiting for someone to ask you to donate to his campaign the time has come. I ask you to donate to the Gary Johnson 2012 campaign.

    https://donate.garyjohnson2012.com/

  42. George Phillies

    @49 You are apparently unaware of the fundraising and other issues, covered in my book Funding Liberty.

    @51 you miss the point, I think. Mind you, I eventually received Johnson fundraising letters, so he did have some sort of an effort.

  43. paulie

    You are apparently unaware of the fundraising and other issues, covered in my book Funding Liberty.

    Presuming for the sake of argument that everything you say there is 100% accurate, how does that lead to the conclusion that there should never be any repeat presidential campaign ever again?

    And, even if there were fundraising irregularities, why would Mark Axinn be incorrect in saying

    Thereafter Harry actively continued his “campaign” by public speaking, writing books and articles, and saying that he wanted to run again for President in 2000. That probably helped him garner some publicity so he could preach liberty …

    ?

  44. paulie

    you miss the point, I think. Mind you, I eventually received Johnson fundraising letters, so he did have some sort of an effort.

    True. As with any campaign, there are too many things to do and not enough money or people to do them with. Certainly some things that should have been done haven’t been. That’s one advantage of a long term continuous effort, the ability to keep building, learning, and expanding, giving the time and space to fill in the gaps as well as grow.

  45. Gary Johnson Needs You !

    If you would have signed up for emails on the campaign site you would be receiving requests for donations about twice a week.

    I received one today and it sounds like they (GJ and inner circle) think they may get close to the 5% mark nationally. I just wonder if after Nov.6 and reality sets in, will this idea be reassessed. GJ is putting in a solid effort as he looks tired and worn down. That’s what will be the deciding factor. All this effort and most of us know what’s coming Nov.6. I hope it will be fantastic, however this ain’t my first rodeo. We’ll see what they think after the votes are counted.

    Cast a Vote for Peace – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=315E990LdSU

  46. Robert Capozzi

    p48: Using what definition(s)?

    me: I was giving GP the benefit of the doubt, accepting HIS premise. That’s all. I want to know why GP believes a repeat candidate cannot work, as he seems to suggest. (It appears you’d like to understand GP’s view, too, since it’s not obvious, other than his deflecting comments about fundraising irregularities in 00.)

    I have no problem with GJ getting advice from WB and Rothbardians, but my hope is that me continues to tune and refine a strong, moderate, engaged approach to marketing a L message. Ditch the FAIR Tax, for ex.

    Mostly, though, he needs to develop more facility in framing issues and rhetorical soundbites that attract the listener and yet help him or her to see that liberty is the default solution to problems but that Ls are open to negotiating for transitions.

  47. ATBAFT

    #51 I know I could have done all those things.
    I deliberately didn’t in order to test exactly what solicitations would be made to those LP members less engaged. I had also volunteered to two GJ officials at Vegas about fundraising and never heard from them either. Nothing wrong with having people find and respond to your campaign, but you’ll do better if you are reaching out too. Do you wait for someone to ask you out or do you ask them out? Both work.

  48. Matt Cholko

    Yes, 4 years gives plenty of time for GJ to gracefully “ditch” the FAIR Tax garbage. If he does that, and stays away from the interventionist-type foreign policy statements, he will have a shot at my vote in Orlando.

  49. Thomas L. Knapp

    Paulie @ 41,

    You write:

    “The LP grew to a much larger membership than before or since”

    That growth was both illusory and damaging, and a major component of it was only tangentially related to Browne’s presidential campaigns.

    The growth DIRECTLY related to Browne’s presidential campaigns came in two forms:

    – Whatever real growth was produced by his campaigning. I am not trying to minimize that. It did exist.

    – The “P Transaction” trick in which anyone who donated $25 or more to Browne’s campaign was credited as having paid membership dues. Not only was it not obvious that those “members” really cared to specifically the LP, but their membership created fulfillment obligations without actual payment of dues to cover those obligations.

    The big growth was tangential to Browe’s campaigns in that the supporters of the program that produced it did tend to be identified with his campaigns, but the program itself was not part of the campaigns.

    It was informally called “Operation Archimedes” and it involved the rental of large mailing lists from libertarian or libertarian-leaning organizations and publications and mass direct mail to the list names.

    The reason the growth that produced was illusory is that it had very high “churn” — the LP was able to get one $25 check out of the direct mail recipients at a reasonable rate, but renewals were very, very low. The party either couldn’t or didn’t engage most of these people to become active long-term members.

    The reasons the growth was damaging were several, but here are a couple:

    1) After UMP payments to the states, each new member was break-even at best and quite likely a net loss to the party financially; and

    2) The “sugar high” growth encouraged the LNC to be less careful and frugal in its budgets and budget forecasts — when the direct mail stopped producing the high response rate and then the LP stopped doing it, the growth stopped and reversed and the LNC was left both literally and figuratively having written a bunch of checks that it couldn’t cover.

  50. Be Rational

    @60 You are correct that Project Archimedes was a disaster for the LP. This was obvious from the outset, as I warned the LNC both from the beginning and during its operation. It did serve its primary purpose of enriching its sponsor and manager however as he was able to personally loot the LP while the LP was actually declining in real size during the phoney “sugar high” growth period.

  51. Joe Buchman

    I think what is most needed now is for some major media (to be pushed ) cover the Johnson/Stein debate October 30th, and (more importantly IMO) the November 4th Ralph Nader hosted/moderated debate.

    Some major media coverage of those two events, IMO, makes the difference between earning more votes than Ed Clark (the minimum acceptable outcome that I can imagine right now) and earning 2 to 3 times that.

    Spoke to a friend of mine who just moved to New Mexico a year or so ago and he reports Johnson sign waving and bumper stickers are very visible in ABQ. His impression is that Governor Johnson will earn over 5 percent there.

    I can’t say I’m optimistic about the final numbers . . . but I can say I know Gary and Ron and Jim have given everything they’ve had to give to this effort and no one is slowing down through a week from Tuesday.

    I can also say I’m angry at the SOS in Michigan and the blatant partisanship there, at the decisions in Oklahoma, especially regarding the AE convention and nomination there, the crimes (IMO) associated with those acts, the media freeze-out of a two term Governor in both the RP primary debates and CPD.

    I’m also hopeful our lawsuits in each of those issues will either be successful and/or awaken some of the electorate. I know we’re all concerned and vigilant about what ballot access could look like in 2014 and 2016 with increased pressure from the duopoly party and want everyone involved in every state in stopping those efforts to limit choice/kill the LP nationally.

    And, especially as an educator, I’m damn grateful for all I’ve learned from Ron Nielson, Gary Johnson, Judge Gray, Bill Redpath, Richard Winger, Alicia Dearn, Geoff Neale, Lee Wrights, Ruth Bennett, Michael Cloud, Andre Marrou (a highlight of the campaign was the breakfast we set up with Gary and Andre in Texas that stretched into lunch), Walter Block (who joined us as an economic adviser after Ron Paul was abused by the RP at their non-convention) . . . It’s been like earning the PhD all over again, but with less sleep. . . and only slightly more political machinations.

    So bottom line — let’s all do what we can to force maximum media exposure for these last two PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE debates. (the REAL “debates” — not the “relatively friendly, agree-on-all-the-major-issues, joint press conferences and associated non-stop media coverage about them, offered by the RP, CPD, NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, MSNBC union.

  52. Michael H. Wilson

    I think there may be more to the membership decline than what we think happened.

    From Dec 95 to Dec 96 there was a 58% increase
    Dec 96 – Dec 97 + 6%
    Dec 97 – Dec 98 + 31%
    Dec 98 – Dec 99 + 10%
    Dec 99 – Dec 00 0%
    Dec 00 – Dec 01 – 16%
    Dec 01 – Dec 02 – 17%

    The events of 9/11 may have played a part in the decline.

    When was the Razors Edge software adopted? The reason I ask is that the spreadsheet we get these days on Excel with the membership is not the easiest to work with and thus people may not be willing to dig into it.

    Some states have not seen the decline other have. If I recall New Hampshire, Indiana and Ohio have seen a smaller decline that the west coast states.

  53. Gene Berkman

    Michael @ 63 is on to something. After 9/11 the state Chair of the Libertarian Party of California took a pro-war stance which alienated many activists. I stopped recruiting people for the LPC while I waited for the state chair to be replaced, and he remained chair for several years.

    It has not been easy to pick up the pieces since he left as chair.

  54. Thomas L. Knapp

    Joe @ 62,

    “earning more votes than Ed Clark (the minimum acceptable outcome that I can imagine right now) ”

    Do you mean more votes as a raw total, or more votes as a percentage?

    To hit Ed Clark’s percentage (1.1), Johnson will probably have to knock down 1.4-1.5 million votes. Not very likely.

    To hit Clark’s raw vote total (I’ve seen different figures, but I’m using 950,000), he’d have to poll 0.7%. Not beyond imagining, although I’d bet against it at 1:1 odds.

  55. Joe Buchman

    Thomas @ 65.

    I think it’ll depend, in part, on how much major media coverage (if any) occurs for the two final debates on November 4th with Ralph Nader, and on November 5th with only Governor Johnson and Dr. Stein; as well as the degree to which Ron Paul supporters, and those seeking to vote for marijuana legalization initiatives are willing to show up and support Governor Johnson.

    I don’t think the media buys will have much, if any impact and that the minimum to really have that make a difference would have been in the $200 million dollar range.

    That said, the drone attack ad regarding Iran could well go down in media history as a modern-day equivalent to the Johnson (meaning LBJ) daisy ad.

    Just spoke to a friend of mine in New Mexico — not a Libertarian — who reports that he routinely sees Gary Johnson sign waving events, Gary Johnson bumper stickers, and hears good things from everyone who remembers when Gary was governor there. His impression is that there’s well over 5 percent support for Gary around the state. How people actually vote when confronted with a ballot, at least historically, suggests only a fraction of that current support will actually show up.

    Still my gut feeling — we’ll exceed the Clark vote totals by a fair margin. I’m basing that on, in part, the performance of some of our down ticket candidates for governor, US Senate, etc; and an unprecendented level of negativity for the R and D candidates.

  56. just Libertarian

    Block’s advice is paying off. Johnson is stressing the pending monetary collapse in interviews. This should help him get more Paul voters in the final stretch to election day.

  57. Mike Jones

    Gary Johnson has come a long way on those issues which caused some ill will between him and some Ron Paul supporters, but it’s taking time for that information to get out among the Ron Paul movement and some people are still circulating videos and interviews of Gary Johnson saying things he no longer says that make him sound more pro-war and economically in line with the establishment than he is now.

    If he keeps on the right path hopefully it will not be so much of an issue 4 years from now.

  58. George Phillies

    @67 News that Johnson is running on crackpot economic claims that there is about to be a monetary collapse, claims that will be obviously wrong in four years, strongly indicate the need for a serious candidate for 2016.

  59. Michael H. Wilson

    re 67 I wouldn’t characterize it the way Dr. Phillies has but I don’t think Walter Block has any lock on a crystal ball and if he was an Austrian Economist he would know that there are too many factors involved. The potential for a serious inflation problem is sitting in our lap but many of the other problems such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid can be solved and hopefully the way to do so will start being promoted.

    I’m not faulting Governor Johnson for his campaign and I am an enthusiastic supporter of his. I just don’t think the LP has done enough to help the cause.

  60. Wes Wagner

    Something that I think most people don’t realize when they start talking about “monetary collapse” is that if in theory our banks were to start failing, lots of money would go “poof” and disappear, because its not printed anymore… it is ledger entries. Those ledger entries would get zero-ed out. As a result there would actually be LESS currency, not MORE and since currency is itself a commodity that would mean the prices of all other commodities would collapse in nominal dollars.

    Hyperinflation can only happen if there is channels for the money to go through. In spite of ZIRP , there are not enough people willing to borrow, invest and grow … which is why in the fact of nearly zero interest rates, inflation has been very subdued.

    Now there are very real issues that social security, medicare, etc are impossible to pay on a forward basis at the current promised rates and current growth rates in costs of medical care, etc., which means _something_ will have to happen in the future.

    We had a lesson in the fall of the iron curtain, where all the various governments who had maxed out their economic capabilities had very large pensions to pay. They did, ultimately, inflate their way out of the problem through the raw printing of currency, without adjusting the pensions. Eventually the pensions would pay for about half a utility bill, and in a country like Romania the problem eventually solved itself.

    We should strive for a better solution.

  61. Robert Capozzi

    Having concern for collapse is probably good positioning for GJ. It’s code for the Paulistas, which might be GJ’s biggest potential voting bloc. Investing TOO heavily, though, is a mistake. Expressing serious concern is one thing, adopting Chicken Little-ism another.

  62. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Collapse — if things continue this way” is an eminently mainstream position that virtually every politician takes at least implicitly and to one degree or another.

    It’s important not to fall into the same trap, with the same results, as those preachers who get it into their heads that they’ve figured out the precise date of Jesus’ return.

  63. George Phillies

    If the Paul characters are the Libertarian Party’s biggest voting block, *which they are not* the Libertarian Party is totally screwed and could go home.

    That’s ignoring the large number of Paul supporters who are totally not libertarian on more than enough core issues that they — sensibly — will not vote for us.

  64. Nick Kruse

    If Gary Johnson is going to run for president in 2016, he should definitely run for something in 2014. It could be the Senate, the House, or a statewide executive office. Anything to keep him in the news in his state.
    He could and should also run for a lower office in 2016. In Wisconsin, Paul Ryan is running for both the Vice-Presidency and for his seat in congress. Why don’t our Pres and VP candidates do the same thing?

  65. Thane Eichenauer

    @75
    You make an interesting suggestion. I would say one reason why not is because they are not running for re-election. It still would be novel if they were to run for US House or US Senate (or Governor) on top of running for President/Vice-President.

  66. Thane Eichenauer

    @69
    I’ll agree with Phillies. For a time I tuned out Ron Paul as I was tired of hearing about fiscal collapse (and none came). As a local wise man once said (he was referring to a bible verse) “Are you a-feared enough?”

  67. Jill Pyeatt

    With all due respects to Phillies, I know many really smart people who think we’re headed for more financial disaster in this country, no matter who wins this election. I certainly think it’s a possibility, if not probability.

  68. Robert Capozzi

    73 tk: …virtually every politician takes at least implicitly and to one degree or another.

    me: Please expand. I’m not tracking at all. Other than RP, I can’t think of ONE who makes that case, even implicitly. Concern is expressed by many pols, to be sure. “Collapse-atarians” I simply don’t know of any except Paul and to a lesser degree Johnson.

    74 gp: Paul characters are the Libertarian Party’s biggest voting block, *which they are not*

    me: OK, which IS the biggest plausibly prospective voting bloc for GJ, then?

    We probably will never know, but my guess is that if GJ gets 1.5MM votes, more than half will be former RP supporters. Is it possible that your dislike for RP is coloring your view of RP supporters?

    For ex., a lot of RP supporters are pro marriage equality and pro choice, in some form – perhaps in a federalist sort of way. IOW, not all RP supporters agree with RP 100% of the time.

    If, on the other hand, GJ gets 500K votes, slightly besting the BB 08, we might assume that there was no incremental support coming from Paulistas or other quarters.

    The other BIG factor to consider is that, while Romney is a significantly better candidate from Dr. Strangelove McCain, Obama of 08 was a somewhat unknown quantity, while now he has a record, a woeful one. I suspect, IOW, that the anti-Obama vote will be MORE pronounced in ’12 than ’08. I suspect that some L leaners will vote Romney as a means to fire Obama. This’ll tend to dampen GJ’s vote totals, I suspect.

  69. Andy

    “For ex., a lot of RP supporters are pro marriage equality and pro choice, in some form – perhaps in a federalist sort of way. IOW, not all RP supporters agree with RP 100% of the time.”

    FYI, Ron Paul has said on multiple occasions that he favors eliminating state marriage licenses and that individuals should be free to voluntarily marry whomever they want.

  70. Andy

    “George Phillies // Oct 28, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    If the Paul characters are the Libertarian Party’s biggest voting block, *which they are not* the Libertarian Party is totally screwed and could go home.

    That’s ignoring the large number of Paul supporters who are totally not libertarian on more than enough core issues that they — sensibly — will not vote for us.”

    What do you base this on? How many Ron Paul supporters have you spoken to? How many Ron Paul meet ups or rallies have you been to?

    I’ve spoken to Ron Paul supporters all over this country. I’ve attended numerous Ron Paul meet ups and rallies. I’d say that the vast majority of Ron Paul supporters are in fact open to the Libertarian Party.

    I’ve brought Libertarian Party ballot access petitions to several Ron Paul meet ups and rallies and almost everyone there signed, and most did so enthusiastically.

    Why haven’t there been more Ron Paul supporters flocking to the Libertarian Party?

    Three main reasons (in no particular order):

    1) Many people – including a lot of Ron Paul supporters – see the Libertarian Party as ineffective and irrelevant.

    2) Bob Barr. Many Ron Paul supporters were turned off by the fact that the Libertarian Party nominated him for President in 2008 and they saw this as the party selling out. Some of these people still haven’t forgiven the Libertarian Party for having nominated Bob Barr. Gary Johnson doesn’t have as many negatives as Bob Barr had, however, this advocacy of the Fair Tax is a negative to most Ron Paul supporters.

    3) The Libertarian Party has done an overall poor job of reaching out to Ron Paul supporters and recruiting them in to the party.

    I do think that Gary Johnson has a good chance to bring in more votes from Ron Paul supporters than Bob Barr did and that this has the potential to boost his vote total.

  71. just Libertarian

    @69 — News that Gov. Johnson has earned the opprobrium of noted crypto-Communist crackpot George Phillies has surely heartened real libertarians everywhere.

  72. Be Rational

    @82 The “communist” part of your comment is obviously not an accurate description of Phillies.

  73. Robert Capozzi

    jl 82, to be fair to GP, he opposed – strenuously – GJ pre-convention. I’ve not seen him spew too hostility to our candidate since then. This is rather tame by GPian standards.

    Now, of course, given his history, it’s likely that GP is pouring over FEC filings, looking for datapoints that he can overreact to, make wild accusations about, etc. Since GP remains unrepentant for his FEC complaint against his own party in the last cycle, we should be prepared for a repeat of his venomous behavior.

    I of course invite him NOT to. He certainly has the ability to learn, but I’m concerned that his emotional tendency to lash out at his colleagues might swamp his otherwise right mind.

    We’ll see….

  74. Adrian

    To the person above who said “Ventura/Johnson 2016″: Are you nuts? Jesse Ventura supports reinstating the draft and opposes privatization of public schools. The only good thing about Jesse Ventura is that he criticized the Catholic Church and/or Religious Right in the ’90s.

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