Election 2016

Google Searches for "Libertarian Party" Surge After Ted Cruz Drops Out

Convention later this month will select LP nominee.

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Gage Skidmore

Donald Trump crushed it in the Indiana GOP primary last night, winning more than 50 percent of the vote and causing Ted Cruz to drop out. Although John Kasich is still in the race, he has only won one state so far while Trump is less than 200 delegates from securing the nomination.

That led to a surge tonight in searches for "Libertarian Party," as this chart from Google Trends showing searches for "Libertarian Party" over the last 24 hour period:

Google Trends

Libertarians will choose their candidate at their convention in Orlando over Memorial Day weekend. Two of the highest polling candidates have been Gary Johnson, the former Republican governor of New Mexico and 2012 Libertarian presidential candidate, and John McAfee, a computer programmer and entrepreneur who was also a person of interest in a murder in Belize. Delegates are chosen by state parties, and it's also possible to become a delegate for a state other than the one you live in if your state has already met its delegate allocation. Delegates are allocated based on how well the Libertarian presidential candidate did in the previous election as well as membership per state. The first step is to contact your state party.*

How many "Never Trump" Republicans look at the Libertarian Party instead of supporting Hillary Clinton remains to be seen. Mark Selter, a senior aide to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the 2008 Republican presidential candidate, has already indicated he'll be supporting Clinton. Other Republican establishment types may do the same, providing a poignant illustration of how the Trump phenomenon became a thing in the first place.

Almost one in five Americans say they'd consider a third party candidate if the nominees were Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

*A previous version of this post incorrectly claimed anyone who paid to go to the convention could be a delegate.

NEXT: Who Would Bankrupt America First, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump?

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  1. Some small number of disgruntled Republican voters, exasperated, searched for libertarian options before they realize they need to suck it up and got on their knees for King Trump. Libertarian moment.

    1. If Trump is no better than Hillary, and vice-versa, why not vote one’s conscience?

      1. download video mesum is interesting? Google searches for the Libertarian Party are higher than searches for the Democratic Party and sometimes even beat searches for the Republican Party.

  2. So how do they keep Johnson out of the debate if he polls in the low double digits? Move the goalposts or just FYTW?

    1. FYTW.

      Honestly, though, they might not let Trump in the debate. Especially if it’s held on a college campus.

      The debate between those three seems like a set up for the Aristocrats joke:

      First, we’ll have a crook representing the Democrats, who accepted millions in bribes from foreign governments while she was the secretary of state. She’ll denounce Republicans everywhere for being greedy and dishonest. Meanwhile, a bloated windbag representing the Republican party is center stage dry humping his trophy wife–her name is Melanoma. When it comes time for the third party candidate to answer a question, he’ll just start screaming about how the police in Belize are out to get him.

      That sounds like an amazing act! What do you call it?

      “The Presidential Candidates”!

      1. *golf clap*

        I haven’t heard a good Aristocrats rendition in a long time.

      2. You’re assuming John McAfee will be LP’s nominee. How would your narrative go if Gary Johnson was the nominee?

        1. “When it comes time for the third party candidate to answer a question, he’ll just start asking if anyone in the audience wants to buy some pot brownies.”

  3. Do the default search, and the results for 2004-present aren’t so impressive. (Sorry, can’t embed a link for some reason.)

    1. The trend on Google’s story on Election 2016 is interesting? Google searches for the Libertarian Party are higher than searches for the Democratic Party and sometimes even beat searches for the Republican Party.

  4. “The top two polling candidates have been Gary Johnson, the former Republican governor of New Mexico and 2012 Libertarian presidential candidate, and John McAfee, a computer programmer and entrepreneur who was also a person of interest in a murder in Belize.”

    If the choice is between a Democrat crook, an anti-free trade phony Republican, and the kookiest weirdo to ever flee Belize, it’s gonna make it real easy to be a principled non-voter.

    1. That’s why it’s the perfect lineup.

    2. How dare you talk about McAfee that way.

      1. “McAfee later stated that he faked the heart attack while being held in Guatemala to buy time for his attorney to file a series of appeals that ultimately prevented his deportation to Belize”

        http://tinyurl.com/oze3yzs

        He’d seem more reasonable if he chained himself to a tree for Arbor Day.

        1. C’mon now. In an election cycle driven by Trump/Sanders, this is certainly no time for Libertarians to go about looking like the only reasonable adults in the room.

          Give us McAfee.

  5. Unfortunately, once they see who the Libertarian candidates are, they will quickly forget about voting.

    Until they can get someone who can articulate things (not Johnson) without seeming to be crazy (not MacAfee), it’s never going to get traction.

    I hate to say it, but I think the only thing that will ever make it relevant is getting a celebrity

    1. Let’s broadcast Libertarian points of view into Donald Trump’s mind and use him as our vessel.

      1. Trump used to be somewhat more libertarian than he is now that he’s a Republican. He used to have libertarian Roger Stone as an advisor. He used to be pro-choice and pro-legalization.

    2. Sure, because Trump, Hillary and Bernie are the epitome of articulateness and rational thinking. Right.

  6. You guys know how Trump met his wife, Melanoma?

    Trump bought an escort service a modeling agency, and they had her on retainer. Apparently, they met at fashion week. Because, you know, Trump is interested in fashion, I guess.

    Can you imagine how that conversation went?

    The Donald: “Nice to meet you. Didn’t I see you on the cover of FHM? You got a really nice set of personalities!”

    Melanoma: “Aren’t you that billionaire guy?”

    And that’s how they fell in love.

    1. Not that much different from how McCain met his wife, except she was the rich one and he was the one who prostitutes himself.

      Her family thought so little of him that they pushed her to get a binding pre-nup to keep him out of the family business. Essentially a “Carlo from the Godfather” situation.

  7. OMG! The prols noticed us! How’s my hair, do these jeans make my ass look fat? Are prols still stupid?

    1. Robby’s is better, no, and abso-fucking-lutely.

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  9. That is what is known as a “Blip” in technical terms. It doesn’t mean anything.

  10. “Anyone who pays the $1,000 fee can be a delegate to the convention in Orlando, which entitles them to a vote on the nominee.”

    Um, no.

    There is no “$1,000 fee.”

    One CAN buy “convention packages” with various perks like receptions, talks by semi-famous libertarians, etc., but whether or not one does so has absolutely zero bearing on whether or not one may be a delegate and vote on the presidential nominee (I did buy a package, the one that cost $200 or so).

    You’re not a delegate unless you’re selected as a delegate by one of the state Libertarian Parties. If you ARE so selected and show up in Orlando, you don’t have to pay a dime to vote on the nominee. If you AREN’T so selected, no amount of money will buy you the ability to vote on the nominee.

    1. Thank you for explaining that. Concerned me!

    2. I was getting scared there. Its not that easy to hijack the party is it? Though I guess the Republicans had a big thing set up with primaries and caucuses and everything and Trump had no problem hijacking it.

  11. Please correct your article immediately! Petersen is without question the #2 candidate up through last week & after last night probably #1 now. I like John but he’s definitely #3. Johnson has *Bern* dropping since all his progressive comments in the Stossell debates. The other to going up.

    1. Do you have an actual poll to back you up?

    2. Do you have an actual poll to back you up?

      1. fucking broken web forms double posting…

        1. The Libertarian Party polls have shown him in second and http://www.alibertarianfuture.com (not very scientific, but still they exist) shows him only 1% behind Johnson and far ahead of McAfee.

  12. Mark Selter, a senior aide to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the 2008 Republican presidential candidate, has already indicated he’ll be supporting Clinton.

    The Clintontarian moment we’ve been promised has arrived at long last! Hallelujah!

    Uh, wait, something’s not right…

  13. Almost one in five Americans say they’d consider a third party candidate if the nominees were Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

    People claim shit like this every four years, yet election results strongly and categorically disagree (except in 1992).

    1. There’s quite a difference between the number of people who have “considered” blowing up IRS around tax day, and the number of people who have actually done so.

      1. Unfortunately. Pussies.

        1. Careful – Preet might be listening and take that kind of juvenile bluster seriously.

  14. As for an LP pick for me it’s between Peterson and McAfee. At least McAfee can say he built his business without trying to steal property from an elderly lady utilizing government violence.

    Johnson lost me with the progressive BS he started peddling. So he’s 3rd place in my eyes. I think a McAfee/Peterson ticket would work, that is if Ron Paul refuses to be a VP pick. Ron Paul as anyone’s VP pick would garner alot of support, and reignite the fire under his supporter’s asses.

    Some might see Peterson as a little kid…..I know policy, and what a person stands for is most important, but as Trump/Clinton has shown, many folks don’t base their decisions upon such things. So an older businessman like McAfee combined with a passionate Libertarian like Peterson who is around our age might resonate better with people.

    Either way, alot of work has to be done up until the election. Ad’s in every state. Something like starting off with the Trump/Clintons own words, then “Don’t limit your choices to someone that hides her emails and that wants to bankrupt America’s coal mining industry , along with a foreign policy only dictators dictators would love, or a person that donated money to Clinton and other democrats, would take your mothers property for personal gain, and force the military to engage in war crimes. Choose liberty and vote for McAfee / Peterson.

    1. Ads (and all other wholesale politics) are useless for third parties. Anyone who is relying on mass media to make their decision has already chosen D/R/novote even if they don’t realize it.

    2. Which progressive BS do you not like — the marijuana or the equal protection/benefits for gays? Either way, you kind of get eliminated as a libertarian.

      1. The banning of clothing statement. The lack of freedom of association, probably.

      2. The “Nazi cakes” pissed off a lot of libertarians.

  15. Oh goody, another influx of phony “libertarian” socons.

    1. If they help a Libertarian get a higher percent of the vote, does it matter?

      1. Stormy Dragon is not a libertarian. He’s a Donald Trump sycophant and StormFront loser.

        1. But he is a Stormy Dragon!!!!! How can you hate a Stormy Dragon!!!???? Maybe you don’t want dragons sharing the same bathroom as you? Feeling a little envious?

      2. If they coming around to the libertarian point of view, it’d be a good thing. But all they’re not; they just want to co-op the ballot access to continue supporting the pseudo-theocracy they’ve always supported.

        What good are more “libertarian” votes when they’re not voting for actually libertarianism?

  16. I always wonder why Austin Peterson gets left out of libertarian reporting. He polls higher than McAfee, and he’s consistently been rated the top performer I debates.

    Is it because he’s pro life? Because I might remind folks that Ron Paul is the most pro life congressman ever…

    1. I just suspect people who write for magazines in general aren’t fond of the guy behind Libertarian Buzzfeed.

      1. Can’t have any competition

    2. At the LPF annual meeting on April 9th, after the devate and “debate winner” poll, I had a brief one on one conversation with Petersen near the stage in front of the meeting room. I told him I am an evictionist. He said “So am I.” I have never heard him articulate this publically. He asked if I had his support, to which I simply replied “No.” We had already voted. I am not sure if knowing that would have made a difference for me. Austin is an intersting enough guy, but he is too unseasoned for me.

      Look what happened the last time we elected a unseasoned person who spoke well. Even if the guy speaks about my topics in a way I approve, it is still too much a risk.

  17. If we’re going to run Peterson or McAfee, we might as well just accept that we’re throwing away the best chance we’ve ever had. When you finally get attention on yourself that you’ve been trying to get for 40 years, maybe a kook and a dickhead aren’t your best options.

    1. I totally agree with you on McAfee. However Peterson I don’t. He’s does great in communication to his followers, has an excellent Internet/Facebook streaming presence vs Gary Johnson (plus just in general) and did very well in the John Stossel debate on Fox. I think Gary was great for the party and would be a great VP candidate but for me I see Austin as the future and he seems to have much more ambition to go and get elected vs Gary.

      1. If the LP is every truly serious they’ll stop focusing on running for president and instead on running for school board and municipal governments.

        The idea someone with no previous experience can just get elected president and then get meaningful change all by yourself is a fantasy. You have to take over the institutions, which will require a long term plan. Get people elected locally. The best will eventually get enough support to run for congress or state legislators. Eventually some will be able to run for state-wide offices.

        When there’s actually a noticeable Libertarian presence in congress, THEN you can think about running for President. Until then, it’s all just an endless series of vanity campaigns.

  18. Nice dishonest manipulation of statistics there. You omitted the Y axis and failed to mention that the high point of this graph is ONE HUNDRED PEOPLE. Over the given period that seems to mean that the number of people who searched for this is a “SURGE” of LESS THAN ONE THOUSAND PEOPLE.

  19. Why is Austin Peterson not included in this at all? He’s polling just as high as Gary Johnson and did excellent in the John Stossel debate. McAfee is no where near these two and no chance of being selected as the party’s presidential nomination.

    Will the OP please update this article and include Austin in this article.

  20. So what’s that, an increase from 14 to about 36? Wow, that’s impressive!

    Seriously, that’s not even a chart. Plus, the trend it shows is pretty disheartening. Like a bunch of people searched for “Libertarian Party”, saw it, went, “Oh,” and never went back.

  21. Got to keep it real here and include an appropriate comparison point.

    Like this.

  22. Thanks for correcting that delegate thing, Ed.

    Good Chipper, you write:

    “If we’re going to run Peterson or McAfee, we might as well just accept that we’re throwing away the best chance we’ve ever had.”

    Um, not. Petersen and McAfee (or better yet the libertarian candidate for the Libertarian nomination, Darryl W. Perry) all have just as much chance of winning this election as Johnson does, which is exactly the same chance that Bob Barr, Michael Badnarik, Harry Browne, Andre Marrou, Ron Paul, David Bergland, Ed Clark, Roger MacBride and John Hospers had, which is zero, zip, zilch, nada, bupkes chance.

    The Libertarian Party is not playing in that league yet. Whether it ever will play in that league is an interesting question, but Johnson and Barr before him have proven that the “let’s nominate a Republican and see if he shits a miralce” strategy isn’t what will get us there. So I don’t see that the possibility that Johnson might poll 3/10ths of 1% better than Petersen is really a big deal. And I suspect that McAfee might poll half a percent better than Johnson, but I don’t see that that’s a big deal either.

  23. Love the interest in the libertarian party. Hoping for Gary to win.

    One thing I do ask, though, is for him to consider to stop saying “Look,” before everyone of his statements. Sorta comes off as rude.

    That’s the only thing I’m shy about when it comes to supporting him. Maybe you gotta be kinda rude in this political game of bruteness, what do I know? Get him, Johnson!

    For the record, I wouldn’t put in a vote if AP were to win.

    1. “One thing I do ask, though, is for him to consider to stop saying “Look,” before everyone of his statements. Sorta comes off as rude.”

      Yeah, it sort of reminds me of starting off every statement with “Let me be clear.” It seems to imply that the listeners are rather dumb, so if the speaker does not make an extra effort to be clear, his meaning will sail right over their heads.

      I’m sure glad we don’t have any leader who talks down to people like that.

  24. As a delegate, I thank you for correcting the article.

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  26. So you’re telling me McAfee already has experience killing people (allegedly)? Killing people and getting away with it should be a prerequisite for the presidency these days.

    1. If you’re talking about McAfee being a “person of interest” in a killing in Belize, that was true at one point. Now the government of Belize has a suspect in custody and says McAfee is not suspected.

      But if you want to talk about experience killing people being a prerequisite, I guess Gary Johnson is your man. As governor, he signed the first death warrant in New Mexico in more than 40 years. He also asked the legislature to let him execute 13-year-olds, and to get rid of the unanimous jury requirement for referring people to him to be killed.

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  28. Gary Johnson would be my first choice, but I’ll vote for whomever the LP nominates, even if its Petersen or McAfee.

  29. More important than which candidate LP nominates is inclusion in the presidential debates. Ross Perot in 1992 is proof that Americans are willing to vote in significant numbers for someone other than the dem/rep candidates. Inclusion in the debates makes a candidate much more legitimate in the eyes of many.

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