Gary Johnson Preparing to Bolt from the G.O.P. and Seek the Libertarian Presidential Nomination

Bookmark and Share¬† The Independent Political Report recently revealed that former Republican New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson will be withdrawing from the race for the Republican presidential nomination,¬† and instead, begin¬†pursuing the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination.

While this news is dramatic, it is really more personaly dramatic for Gary Johnson than it is for most American voters.  To them the real news is that Gary Johnson was running for President in any Party.

Johnson was one of the first candidates to announce his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, but few ever knew.  His lack of nationalname ID and seeming lack of personality made it quite hard for Gary Johnson to ever really have a chance to catch on with the public.  In addition to scant media coverage of his candidacy, little to no interest in his candidacy gave few media outlets any desire to cover his campaign.  White House 2012 contacted Gary Johnson several times in an attempt to give him the opportunity for such coverage, but apparently, he decided that no coverage was better than any coverage by White House 2012.

Now it would seem that Gary Johnson has come to accept the vicious cycle of political anonymity that he exists in and is ready to to try to become a big fish in the little Libertarian pond, instead of being a Guppy in a big lake.

While news of any aggressive moderate or right of center candidacy can significantly¬†harm Republican chances of defeating President Obama,¬† Gary Johnson’s third party candidacy¬†will have little effect on the election even if he wins the Libertarian nomination.¬† Whereas such a campaign by Ron Paul could doom any chance of beating President Obama 2012, the same does not hold true for Johnson,¬† whose Libertarian bid for the presidency¬†will only prove to generate the same kind of voter attention and enthusiasm that his failed campaign for the Republican presidential nomination has generated.

In many ways, Johnson’s inability to run a campaign that could get his message out is a very sad state of affairs.

As a popular two term Governor, he became one of the few people to actually deliver on limited government and reducing the size of  government.  He is also one of the few elected officials who has actually governed in accordance with the fiscal conservatism that he preaches.  Compared to Ron Paul, Gary Johnson is actually a much better leader.  While Paul preaches, Johnson did what he preached.  While Ron Paul has accomplished little to nothing in his attempts to reform government, Gary Johnson has actually achieved reforms.

Truth be told, if I had the opportunity¬†to elect Johnson governor of my state, I would.¬† He is a true small government, fiscal conservative.¬† However, like Ron Paul, he and his policies lack any merit when it comes to what is the federal government’s main constitutional repsonisibility…..foreign affairs and national security.¬† Sadly, this is a disqualifier.¬† It is also one of the reasons why no one has taken Gary Johnson seriously as a presidential candidate.

Ultimately, Johnson’s¬†potential third party¬†candidacy is the best thing for him and for the Libertarian Party, he is the next best thing to Ron Paul for them and it is probably what Johnson should have done from the very beginning.

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Voters See Little Chance of an Effective Third Party Presidential Candidate in 2012

Bookmark and Share   We recently wondered out loud about the chances of another  Theodore Roosevelt, Bullmoose-like candidate entering the fray?  Or about another Eugene Debs-like socialist?  And with many Republicans seemingly not yet very excited by any of the horses they have to bet on, we discussed the possibility of another Perot or John Anderson candidacy but this time in the form of a Sarah Palin or Allan Simpson. 

Such third Party candidacies rarely make a difference but they do occasionally.  Perot probably cost Bush the election in 1992.  But you have to go all the way back to 1912 for another such example.

Unhappy with the lack of movement in the direction of progressive policies, Theodore Roosevelt decided to challenge his friend and successor, William Howard Taft.  When Taft prevailed as the Republican nominee, Teddy took the third party mantle and called it the Bullmoose Party.  When all was said and done Teddy beat Taft, but Woodrow Wilson beat Teddy. 

Fast forward to 2011 and with all the talk about Republicans looking for a viable alternative to frontrunner Mitt Romney, the question of another effective third party candidacy becomes a legitimate question.  Add to this the rise of the anti-establishment, anti-political class, TEA movement and you have even more good reason to wonder about a third major candidate entering the 2012 presidential election.

At the moment, groups that are independent of, but¬†supportive of certain candidates, ¬†like Conservatives4Palin, are¬†doing their part to get their¬†man or woman¬†in to the race.¬†¬†Conservtaives4Palin¬†are hoping to get¬†Sarah in as a Republican, but they would easily support her if she ran as an independent third party¬†candidate.¬† In fact, this week Conservatives4Palin¬†will run what they call “the Palin reconsider television ad”.¬† The ad will air in the Sioux City market of the first in the nation caucus state of¬†Iowa. The target date for the ads initial airing is Tuesday or Wednesday of this week.

For Palin, deciding to run as a Republican at this point in¬†time, is practically¬†futile.¬† The only real way she could wage a primary campaign is if she ran as a write-in candidate.¬† Such a campaign would not be impossible but with having to instruct voters on how they can write Palin’s name in on the ballot would be a herculean¬†task.¬† Especially since it would require¬†different instructions in different states and even within¬†different counties of each state.

A third party candidacy in the general election would be equally as hard to mount.  State election laws make it harder for third party candidates to get ballot access than they do for the candidates of the two established major parties.  But if you remember, Palin nemesis, Lisa Murkowski recently won her write-in re-election campaign for the U.S. senate in Alaska.

So such things are not impossible and the prospects for a third Party candidacy are always very real.¬† At least that’s the way 28.85 percent ¬†of readers feel.

When asked what the chances of their being a meaningful third party¬†campaign¬†for President in 2012 were, 28.85 percent¬†said there is an “extremely good chance” but¬†34.62 percent say there is “no chance”.¬†¬† In the final analysis¬†a clear¬†¬†majority of¬† 55.77 percent¬†believe that there is little, to no chance of that happening in next year’s presidential election, while 44.23 percent feel there is a slight to good chance of there being one.

That 44.23 percent of readers are probably among those who are in the Anyone But Mitt camp and so the way I see it, the number of those who think there is a very real possibility for a third party candidacy, will probably shrink if Newt Gingrich continues to move up in the polls.  But the opposite will probably happen if Romney solidifies his hold on frontrunner status. 

Either way, my bet is that if Mitt Romney is the nominee, while the call for a third Party candidacy may reach a crescendo in early to mid-Spring of 2012, it will slowly dissipate and by the time Mitt delivers his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in September, thoughts and hopes of and for a third major candidate in the presidential election will fade to a point of insignificance as opinions of Romney change and voters unite behind him.  

Hopefully the same will happen if Newt ends up making that acceptance speech.

Meanwhile White House 2012 asks you to take this week’s White House 2012 poll which asks readers which of the Republican candidates they believe has the best ability to beat President Obama in next year’s presidential debates. Click here to vote now.

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What are the chances of there being a significant third Party candidate in the 2012 presidential election?

Bookmark and Share    While Republican presidential prospects look good at the moment, making the defeat of  incumbent President Obama an inevitability will be far from easy.   Regardless of who the GOP presidential nominee ultimately is, they will have to run a solid campaign that reassure voters that they can at least do no worse than the sitting president.  They will have to be able to defend their personal history and try to turn it in to a political virtue.  They will have to be able to rewrite the storylines of their opponents, get their message out over the din of a biased liberal media, and provide a national direction that most can agree with. 

With President Obama wounded by growing scandals involving¬†Solyndra¬†and “Fast & Furious“, and being weighed down by higher than normal unemployment, a record amount of increased federal spending and debt, and the general impression that the nation is headed in the wrong direction, his defeat may now seem unavoidable.¬†

But it’s not.

Republicans have always had a great talent for defeating themselves and if there were ever a chance for them to do that, 2012 is it.

Despite his standing in the polls, President Obama has a full year to raise and spend what his campaign advisors say is an amount close to, or more than a billion dollars.¬† That’s “B” …..”billion”.

Billion Buck Barry will undoubtedly use that money much more wisely than he has used taxpayer’s money.¬† There will be¬†thousands of mini ACORN-like organizations registering professional football players and Mickey Mouse to vote as Democrats, there will be well spun ads on T.V., cable, radio, computer games, on Google Ads, and newspapers and anything that has enough space to occupy with powerful images of the czars of czars.¬†¬† It will be an air, sea, and ground campaign of class warfare that will¬†best be described as a modern¬†day, American blitzkrieg that will level our cities with a litany of liberal propaganda that will inspire the most social of socialists.

But Republicans will be dealing with a much more divided group of supporters than Democrats.

While a mere 20 or so percent of Americans describe themselves as liberal and 42% describe themselves as conservatives, many of those conservatives have come to feel disenfranchised from the G.O.P.

Between 2004 and 2008, many Republicans feel the way that Ronald Reagan felt about Democrats early on in his career when he explained;

“I did not leave the Democratic Party.¬† The Democratic Party left me

Hence the onset of the TEA movement.¬† And just for the record, yes, I wrote the “TEA movement”, not the TEA Party.¬†

The phrase TEA Party, logically creates the perception of¬†a nationally organized political establishment, promoting one set of candidates representing their political affiliation.¬† That is not the case with so-called¬†TEA Party.¬† It is a movement, based on the principles of less spending, less government, and more freedom.¬† On top of that,¬† this broad coalition is, at best,¬†loosely¬†organized, and it does not automatically support Republican candidates.¬† This makes¬†it much more of a movement than a political Party.¬† And then there is¬†the capitalization of¬†the letters “T”, “E”, and “A”.¬† I do that because this coalition did not name themselves after tea bags.¬† The combin ation of letters is an acronym that stand for ¬†“Taxed Enough Already”.¬†

In any case, the TEA movement is more than willing to oppose the G.O.P. and their candidates, and in 2012, the Republican Party can not rely on the common perception that voters unhappy with President Obama will simply support the Republican presidential nominee solely as a means to defeat the President.  In 2012, many voters do not want to settle for the lesser of the two evils.  Many voters, especially those in the TEA movement, want to eliminate both evils.

As such, conditions are just right for a third Party candidate to have the opportunity to significantly affect the presidential election.

A strong third Party candidate may not be able to win if Billion Buck Barry utilizes his money effectively and Republicans run a decent campaign, but they could still determine the results. 

When Theodore Roosevelt ran under the Bullmoose banner in 1912, he ran the most effective third Party candidacy in history.  He did not win, but he came in second, and  was singlehandedly responsible for the loss of incumbent Republican President William Howard Taft.  Had Roosevelt not upset the apple cart, Taft would have won a second term.  But thanks to Teddy, Taft came in third and with the vote split between the two, Woodrow Wilson became our President (see Fig. 1) . 

In 1968 the ugliness that was George Wallace ran for President on the American Independent Ticket.¬† That race may not have changed the results but it easily¬†could have.¬† Only 0.7 % of the popular vote differentiated winning from losing by Richard Nixon over Democrat Hubert Humphrey.¬† However; the electoral college was still¬†quite lopsided in Nixon’s favor.¬†

That year, racial strife allowed a coalition of Southern states to give Wallace 46 electoral votes, and nationally he drew 13.53% of the vote.  (see Fig.2)

In 1980 liberal Republican Congressman John Anderson ran on an Independent ticket under the banner of the National Union Party after losing the Republican presidential nomination to Ronald Reagan. 

Anderson’s vote did not change the outcome¬†of that election, but he did do surprisingly well, by winning 6.61% of the popular vote.¬† (see Fig. 3)

But the best performance by acontemporary third Party candidate occurred in 1992, when eccentric businessman H. Ross Perot struck a chord of political independence within the nation and effectively torpedoed any chance that incumbent President George H.W. Bush had at winning reelection. (see Fig. 4)

In 2012, while there is not yet any sign of such a candidacy on the horizon, the right formula for one is there.

People are tired¬†of both Party’s.¬† Democrats feel their Party has not been liberal enough.¬† Republican believe that the G.O.P. has not been forceful enough and not been committed enough to conservative principles.¬† And a whole host of Americans from Independents¬†to TEA movement activists, are fed¬†up with both Parties and no one sees either Party doing enough to solve the greatest challenge facing¬†our nation since World War Two and the War on Terror……………our deficit and addiction to spending.¬† Thus making it so that the right candidate could just tilt the scales enough to determine¬†which one of the two major¬†Parties control the¬†White House for the four years following the election.¬† From my perspective, two candidates who would do just that are Sarah Palin and Russ Feingold.

If Sarah Palin ran as a third¬†Party, Independent¬†candidate,¬†she¬†would certainly be viable,e enough to prevent the¬†G.O.P. from beating Billion Buck Barry.¬† And if someone like former Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold mounted a third Party, candidacy¬† he would be able to attract enough votes away¬† from the Democrat’s liberal base, in enough key states to cost¬†President Obama reelection.¬† I don’t see either doing such a thing, at least not yet.¬† But you never what will happen.¬† If enough conservatives remain dissatisfied by the prospects of Mitt Romney¬†becoming the nominee and then fail to accept him if he is the nominee, someone like Palin could easily¬†keep those votes for themselves and prevent Republicans from claiming the electoral votes of key states like Colorado, New Mexico, and even Ohio and Florida.

So what do you think?

Answer this week’s White House 2012 question.¬† What are the chances of there being a significant third Party candidate in the 2012 presidential election? Vote here now.

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