Libertarian Party

Johnson, Weld to Get CNN 'Town Hall' Treatment

Libertarian Party candidates get valuable primetime cable news attention.

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Gary Johnson
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Tune into CNN a week from today to see Libertarian Party flag-bearers Gary Johnson and William Weld get the same "Town Hall" action given to the candidates from the top two parties.

CNN announced today they will be holding a primetime town hall with Johnson and Weld on June 22 at 9 p.m. Just as with the 10 other town halls they've had with the other candidates, voters will have the opportunity to ask them questions. Chris Cuomo will moderate.

This is a pretty big deal in terms of getting voters acquainted with Johnson and Weld as they try to get their poll numbers up to be included in the presidential debates. CNN set viewing records for the network with their town hall interviews with Republican candidates Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and John Kasich in March. They averaged more than 3 million viewers during that time (of course, the numbers spiked during the session with Trump).

It may be a bit of a pipe dream to think Johnson and Weld will approach those numbers, but do recall that Johnson received a little bit more than 1 million votes in 2012. The chances are very high that he's going to be seen by a lot of people who currently know very little about him.

General election poll numbers right now have Johnson getting between five and 12 percent of the vote in a three-way race. And a new poll shows Americans have the highest unfavorable opinions of Trump so far, with 70 percent disliking the man. Hillary Clinton is behind him with a 55 percent disliking her. Landing the Democratic nomination has not made voters warm up to her, at least not yet.

Johnson has a long way to go, but there's never been a better opportunity for him to go for it. The latest Google trends numbers for Gary Johnson continue to show a dramatic increase in searches for his name compared to this same time frame in 2012. While Google doesn't provide actual search numbers, their data shows that there are five times as many people searching Johnson's name in June 2016 than there were in June 2012.

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  1. But will Johnson get CNN Light-Of-God treatment in their video coverage?

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    2. Johnson is dead to me.
      He just went on Fox Business and said he is “open” to discussing the removal of Second Amendment protection for U.S. citizens.

      The fact that the Libertarian party nominated a big government megalomaniac like Johnson is disgusting.

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    4. The only reason the clinton new network is having him on is they must think he will take votes from trump. If he has a chance of hurting billary they wouldn’t go any where near him.

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  2. Can Johnson win New Mexico?

    1. What about Ron Mexico’s johnson?

      1. Shut up. I’m serious for once. Can he get votes in the Electrical College?

        1. I hope so, I would love to see the other two come up short and it ends up in the House of Representatives where anything could happen.

          1. We know the “anything” that would happen. Think any of the cockroaches in charge of the house would place anyone by one of theirs in? Let’s see, another Romney run? Or maybe Ryan, of course he would be reluctant and only run if everyone promised to give him his way and as long as he didn’t have to work weekends. Or maybe little marco? Ryan/marco ticket? or maybe a bush/marco ticket. Give the previous heir apparent bush his rightful place and keep the party bushbastic. From read my lips to destabilizing the mid east, we could sure use another bush, no telling what he can get us into.

            I actually heard by a talking head that a third party run attempt would be for the purpose, not to actually win, but to deny both trump and hillary enough electoral votes so the house can get their man in. The best way to destroy the party, as if destroying this modern republican party isn’t such a bad thing.

        2. I don’t see why he couldn’t?

        3. No, but he may get a few votes in the Electoral Junior College.

          1. Go Fighting Nonvoting Delegates! Whoo!

        4. Can he get votes in the Electrical College?

          New Mexico? If he really, really outstrips expectations nationally I could see enough home state voters pulling the lever for their boy to get it done. Say, winning the state with 35% of the vote. It is a huge stretch, but if the stars align just right…..

          That’s 5 votes right there! Prolly not enough to block the mainstream from getting a winner, but it would be exciting..

          1. Mapmakers are twitching at the opportunity to use a new color.

            1. Primary Colors are borning, can we change the Libertarian color to Cyan or something? Not a soft aqua shade either, the grating 1995 VGA tube monitor Cyan.

              1. Gold, for the standard libertarians believe in.

              2. Our colors hurt your eyes. Vote for us.

              3. BARF. Libertarians have always been represented as yellow/gold, and rightly so.

                1. Cus they want to be Iron Man?

                2. Cus they want to be Iron Man?

    2. I believe he showed best in ’12 by getting over 3%. So, probably not.

      While I’m too lazy to internet the numbers, I suspect NM will be a strong Hillary State.

      1. 2012 was a little different. There were two major party candidates that weren’t hated by most of the country.
        I’m not hugely optimistic about Johnson/Weld, but I think we might see some unusually high numbers for the LP. Electoral votes, I kind of doubt, but you never know.

        1. Lets be honest, 5% would be unusually high.

    3. From what I’ve seen so far, his best prospects for coming in 2nd or even winning are of course New Mexico, Utah (where he’s polled as high as 16%), and New Hampshire.

    4. Can he? Yes.

      Will he? I’m guessing no, because, while he was by all or most accounts a popular governor, he left office back in 2003 and the state’s demographics (both ethnic and age-wise; more Millennials who may not remember when Johnson was governor) seem to have changed drastically since then.

      I suppose it depends upon how many “libertarian Hispanics” there are in New Mexico and whether or not they’re willing to forgo voting Clinton/Democrat even if it means taking a chance that Trump wins NM.

      However, Hispanic voters tend to be much younger than other ethnic/racial demographics, so maybe it is possible for GayJay to win in his home state

    5. New Hampshire? Utah? Colorado? Alaska? There are a few states where he has a chance.

  3. their data shows that there are five times as many people searching Johnson’s name in June 2016 than there were in June 2012

    Well thats probably because we had a family reunion last week and I told everyone there to google Garys Johnson

    1. Yeah, but what about Gary?

  4. Just as with the 10 other town halls they’ve had with the other candidates, voters will have the opportunity to ask them questions.

    I imagine it will be questions focusing on weed and why they associate themselves with a party that lets their nominees strip down to a thong on stage.

    1. And whether they’d rather support Hillary or Trump.

      And if people should be allowed to do heroin in elementary schools.

      And if black people should be allowed in suburban shopping malls.

      And why they think people should throw their vote away.

      And whether a vote for the Libertarian Party is a vote for Trump.

      And how are they going to keep us safe from ISIS if they unilaterally disarm the country…

      Oh, and the libertarian party is going to have an event moderated by the son of Democrat Governor of NY Mario Cuomo, brother of current Democrat governor of New York Andrew Cuomo…. aaaand this works for them, why?

      1. Well, what about…

        Fuck.

        1. Nah, they won’t ask about that. Asking about a real women’s issue like sex worker’s rights would be way, way too complex for CNN, and it might just blow up in their faces.

          That is what you were referring to, right?

          1. Sure, we’ll go with that.

          2. I think the media is keeping the ‘would you support legalizing prostitution?’ question in reserve until he starts polling closer to 15%.

        2. Ah, whataboutism.

          Gotta love how Libertarians must succinctly explain the complete ramifications of every nuance of their platform, while Trump and Hillary can laugh and throw up a middle finger and get a complete pass on policy.

          It’s like these people don’t understand that if you let people make their own decisions, you can’t be sure what those decisions will be. You can be sure that most people will be a lot happier though. You can also bet every last penny you have that the economy will be a hell of a lot healthier than it has been in…decades at least.

          I’d like a libertarian candidate to throw these idiotic whatabouts back in the face of the questioner.

          “What would you do if kids started doing heroin in elementary schools as President?”

          “I don’t know, what would you do as their mother/father? That seems like your job, not mine. I’m just supposed to do the shit I’m empowered to do on this list, and last I checked keeping your kids off heroin ain’t on the list.”

    2. I’d rather see a guy strip down to a thong than talk to an empty chair.

  5. Slow and steady wins the race. He doesn’t need to knock anyone’s socks off. Just promise American values, Constitution, even keel. Avoid demonizing the other candidates – they do a good enough job of that on their own. And be nice to Obama. Because most reasonable people out there still like him and only wish he could stick around a little longer.

    1. And don’t worry about the hooting and hollering from the audience. It’s like at the Convention – the crazy people will reward you for saying crazy things. That’s how they undermine you. “Be the broccoli.”

    2. Fuck Block Insane Yommma, and also, fuck you.

  6. “While Google doesn’t provide actual search numbers, their data shows that there are five times as many people searching Johnson’s name in June 2016 than there were in June 2012.”

    True, but you CAN compare Johnson’s numbers to other people. He gets around 1/25th of the searches Trump gets, gets around 1/10th of what Clinton gets, around 1/10th of what Kim Kardashian gets, almost 3x what Jill Stein gets.

    1. Oh, and here’s a final one. He’s searched ABOUT the same amount as Mitt Romney is these days.

      http://www.google.com/trends/explore#q=gary johnson, /m/0271_s&date=today 3-m&cmpt=q&tz=Etc/GMT+5

      1. Heh. Both Romney and Johnson spike at the same time, around the time the article came out where Romney said he might vote libertarian.

    2. Who the hell searches for stuff about Trump? You can’t avoid it even if you want to.

      1. Yeah, but he did have a great line about Obama being more angry with him (Trump) than with the terrorist in Orlando.

        That’s pretty high-quality stuff.

      2. Trump just has a chronic case of verbal diarrhea. People always search for him on Google or follow him on Twitter because he’s likely to ramble about something and say stupid shit.

        His campaign “rallies” are nothing more than him going “freestyle” where he muses about whatever’s in the news.

        1. His campaign “rallies” are nothing more than him going “freestyle”

          My name is Trump and I’m here to say….

          1. I’m golden-haired motherfucker from around the way

      3. I search for bizarre Trump images to create insulting photoshops out of. I feel like I’m partly to blame for this trend.

  7. When they are asked about the Orlando terrorist attack they should be as pro-Second Amendment as they possibly can be. They should be the pro-2A candidates. They should partially focus on the racial aspects of gun control. It is a winning issue.

    And, again, for the love of fucking fuck, tell Weld to apologize and grovel and say he made a mistake by approving of the assault weapons ban: “I’m sorry. It was a mistake. It helped no one. It made no difference. It was pointless. I was wrong. I am sorry. I was stupid. I am sorry. I learned my lesson. I learned, damnit!”

    1. They should partially focus on the racial aspects of gun control. It is a winning issue.

      The lists the Democrats want to use to prevent people from buying guns are largely brown and Muslim?

    2. ^This^ is what I’m talking about.

    3. Yes.

      And they should call the NRA a bunch of hypocrites for sticking with Trump.

      1. Yes. He gave them an easy opening (ha) to get to 15% and entry into the debates.

    4. I like that idea, especially regarding Weld. The guy needs duct tape on his mouth after praising Clinton and giving her a pass on the private server.

    5. You’d really have to wonder what is going on in their campaign if they don’t follow this strategy.

  8. I just saw a guy in a Johnson 2016 t-shirt canvassing outside of my office. While most of you may be thinking, “big deal,” please note that this was in downtown Chicago of all places. The LP sure seems to be stepping up their exposure by orders of magnitude this year compared to previous campaigns.

    1. Well the LP is desperately trying to get enough signatures to be on the Illinois ballot. It’s the state that’s most in doubt. Last I heard, they had barely 25k signatures, which is how many they need to quality, but they normally try to get 40k because the Dems and Reps challenge them like crazy. So if you can help, they need people getting signatures in the next couple weeks.

  9. Holy shit. Where’s that Ron Paul gif?

  10. Fun with EC thoughts.

    Lets say the election is tight, and somehow Johnson/Weld win NM.
    So the election night electoral total is something like 267-266-5, theoretically throwing the election to the House. I see theoretically, because now the jockeying starts before the December Electoral College votes.

    Would, say, Ohio, manage to get 6 faithless electors for Kasich, to push him to third, and maybe a more palatable choice than Trump? Or maybe Paul Ryan? Or Ted Cruz? Or all 3? And would the Dems follow suit, knowing the House is going to pick a republican, maybe throw a bunch of votes behind a GOPer they wouldnt mind being Prez? Or would they try to pick off a half dozen Trump voters if the Trumpites see what is happening and decide to spite the GOP?

    The possibilites are endless.

    It goes away if 3rd has a respectable number of EC votes, like 20.

    1. And what happens, constitutionally, if there is a tie for 3rd in the EC race?

    2. Johnson is already a (former) GOPer that a lot of Democrats wouldn’t mind being President. He’s miles closer on social issues than anyone the House Republicans would put forward.

  11. Holy shit. Trump is a godsend.

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  13. FWIW, if you focus Google Trends on just Gary Johnson the former governor (and not “gary johnson” the search term”, which includes all other gary johnson searches), he’s actually at 7+ times the level of interest that he was in 2012. While interest in the LP is almost 9 times higher than in 2012.

    https://www.google.com/trends/explore#q=/m/01tqr5, /m/07w42&date=1/2012 54m&cmpt=q&tz=Etc/GMT+7

  14. Crap, I should have previewed. Let’s try that link again: http://tinyurl.com/jeebd5n

  15. People who have never heard of Gary Johnson watch CNN at 9pm?

  16. The Libertarian party has lost it’s way.

    Bill Weld?

    Gary Johnson?

    It’s like the worst parts (authoritarian) of the Republican and Democrat parties mated.

    Jesus Christ.

    Larken Rose is right.

  17. This is the most attention the Libertarian Party candidates have ever received.

    Of course, Johnson isn’t going to be elected president in November, but that’s not the point. The point is that if the GOP continues to implode, the LP could become a major factor in 2020 or 2024.

    For those naysayers who think things are hopeless, why are you even here? If libertarian ideas really will never be successful, then you’ve got two choices, become a heavily-armed hermit and wait for the apocalypse, or join the system and try to profit as much individually from the corporate/government/Wall Street world without worrying about ideological principles.

  18. I hope to Flying Spaghetti Monster someone beats some sense into him and he starts doing serious prep for these things. Getting in the debates will be worse than not if he shows up looking and talking like a dirty hippy the way he has been. Someone who knows how the fuck to talk on camera needs to sit down with him and put him through his paces. Someone like David Boaz of Cato maybe.

  19. Amazing. CNN has moved up a point in my book. They are now a one.

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