The Libertarian Party has struggled with its identity since its founding in 1971. Technically America's third largest political party, the LP's political efforts have often made it seem like America's Third Largest Debate Club. Yet as Mike Riggs and Garrett Quinn write, it appears the party has found a balance this year with the nomination of former two-term New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson for president and Judge Jim Gray of California for vice president. Both men are former Republican officeholders with high media profiles, both are committed libertarians, and both won their respective nominations at the Libertarian National Convention in Las Vegas by large margins and after only one round of voting.
With the LP slated to have its highest profile presidential ticket since Ed Clark and David Koch ran together in 1980, hundreds more candidates running for lower offices across the country, and Americans more interested in libertarian ideas than ever before, the Party of Principle still has some questions it needs to answer. Can it qualify for the ballot in all 50 states? Can members stop fighting each other over who is more libertarian? Can the Libertarian National Committee do its job?