Cravings for less Washington gave the Libertarian presidential entrant a record vote count while a tight Obama-Romney race hurt the Green Party, officials said.
The nearly 1.2 million votes won by Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson, a former two-term Republican New Mexico governor, supported public-opinion polls showing "consistently that a majority of Americans want less government than we have today," party Executive Director Carla Howell told United Press International.
Johnson, 59, who initially sought the presidential nomination of the Republican Party, won the Libertarian nod at the party's May national convention.
His nationwide vote count -- the highest count of the minor-party candidates -- represents about 1.2 percent of the total popular presidential vote in the 48 states in which Johnson ran, a UPI analysis of Tuesday's results indicated. Johnson was denied ballot positions in Michigan and Oklahoma.