A Fox poll yesterday showed that Gary Johnson's support has hit 12 percent – a two-point gain in the last month. This is unprecedented for a libertarian in presidential
elections and demonstrates just how disgusted ordinary Americans are with the Evil Party's stupid candidate and the Stupid Party's evil candidate. But that doesn't mean that Johnson can put himself on autopilot and have a respectable showing in November. It'll take more than a message whose sum total seems to be "I don't stink as bad as the other two" to get ordinary Americans to make a schlep to the polls on election day – rather than stay at home and watch The Hunger Games to get used to what's to come.
Purity is not possible in politics, I noted in The Week. But there seems to be no method to the kind of capitulations Johnson so far seems to be making. He has stated, for example, that he'd have no trouble requiring Catholic bakers to service gay weddings. Not only does this statement violate the bedrock libertarian commitment to religious liberty, but it also alienates religious conservatives desperate for an alternative, without gaining any MSNBC viewers.
But that's not Johnson's only problem. He lacks a fleshed out agenda with mass appeal. Vague formulations lacking specifics work for mainstream candidates, but, "just as many women would attest that they have to be twice as good as the next male to get ahead in many workplaces, Libertarians have to be twice as good as major-party candidates to win the hearts of mainstream voters."
So what should he do?
Go here to find out.