Gary Johnson

18% of Bernie's Voters Say They'll Back Gary Johnson

While there are big differences between Johnson's and Sanders' economic platforms, their views have more overlap when it comes to social and foreign policy.


Palgrave Macmillan

Gary Johnson keeps pitching his presidential campaign to Bernie Sanders' disappointed supporters. Read any profile of the Libertarian nominee, and chances are you'll get to a part where he points out that the ISideWith site says Sanders is the rival candidate he agrees with the most.

It's not hard to see why he's doing this. While there are big differences between Johnson's and Sanders' economic platforms, their views have more overlap when it comes to social and foreign policy. Presumably there are some Bernie backers out there who care more about the latter issues, and Johnson would like to reach them. And indeed, according to a recent Bloomberg poll, "barely half of those who favored Sanders—55 percent—plan to vote for Clinton. Instead, 22 percent say they'll vote for Trump, while 18 percent favor Libertarian Gary Johnson." Eighteen percent is a pretty big slice of the pie, especially for a third-party candidate.

So yes, it makes sense for Johnson to pursue those voters. Two big caveats apply, though.

First: No matter what the people in the survey are saying now, Hillary Clinton's 55 percent share is almost certain to grow. The supporters of a defeated candidate are far more likely to say things like this at the end of the primary season than they are in November. A number of the people telling Bloomberg that they'll back Johnson may just want to signal that they don't like Clinton but cannot bring themselves to declare that Donald Trump's their man. That doesn't mean they'll actually pull the Libertarian lever in November.

That's especially true in light of the other caveat: The poll didn't mention the likely Green nominee, Jill Stein. Yet when it comes to pursuing Sanders voters, Stein has an advantage over Johnson—she agrees with more of Sanders' platform. When a Bloomberg reporter interviewed someone who showed up in the survey as a Sandersite for Johnson, he revealed that he actually plans to vote Green:

Eric Brooks, 52, a community organizer in San Francisco, won't [vote for Clinton]. "I will absolutely never vote for Clinton," says Brooks, a Sanders supporter who participated in the Bloomberg poll. Although Brooks indicated in the poll that he'll support Johnson, that is not his intention. "I'd be okay voting for Johnson as a protest vote," says Brooks. "But as a Green Party member, I'm going to vote for [Green Party candidate] Jill Stein. If you care about the climate, like I do, it makes a lot of sense strategically to vote for Stein, because she could get five percent, which has implications for the Green Party getting federal funding."

That said, Johnson will probably appear on more ballots than Stein. The Libertarian ticket may not have much hope of carrying the San Francisco community organizer vote, but perhaps it'll do better with the frustrated leftists of Tulsa.

In the meantime, Johnson's immediate target isn't the election in November. It's the presidential debates, which start in September. At that point, Johnson will need to be getting 15 percent in five national polls to be onstage with the Democratic and Republican nominees. If he makes it, I doubt he'll mind if he got an assist from some people who ultimately will vote for Clinton or Stein instead.

Bonus reading: "Sanders Voters for Trump."

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  1. Why not? The votes of economic and historical illiterates who think socialism is dandy don’t count any less than those of smart people, after all.

    1. ^This. Johnson won’t win, but this will preserve ballot access and make libertarians more difficult to ignore.

    2. If we can’t have socialism, at least we can have gluten-free pot brownies.

      1. Socialism for some, and miniature red/black flags for others!

    3. Basically it boils down to the fact that 18%, at least, of Bernie’s supporters don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground. I wouldn’t count on that level of moron to be able to even find the voting booth in all honesty.

      Not that I’m saying they shouldn’t be allowed to vote or anything, I just can’t imagine that they have the first clue about anything when they’ll flip from a Socialist to a Libertarian at the drop of a hat. That, or it’s a vote against Hillary and Trump is ‘scary’, which is the only plausible ‘not a grade A retard’ option I can believe.

  2. Most Berniebros will vote for Hillary. It is known. Tribal alliegances run deep. Belonging is way below self-actualization in Maslow’s pyramid.

    1. But isn’t the Berniebros whole complaint that they didn’t feel like Team Blue was addressing their concerns?

      1. “We’re gonna vote for Hillary and then change the Democratic Party from the inside, man!”

        1. Exactly. Nobody is going to vote for a candidate/party that takes them for granted and ignores their agenda. That would be like libertarians voting for Republicans, which is so stupid that I can’t even imagine it.

          1. Some Republicans, I assume, are good people.

              1. What! Nixon had a dog, probably treated him better than LBJ treated his dogs.

                1. Hey Ramsay Bolton had a dog and look how he turned out

                  1. Too soon

  3. I have a hard time believing this. “My candidate lost, so I’ll vote for the guy who is the opposite in every way”?
    I know they are retards, but are they really that retarded?

    1. If they are dumb enough to believe in democratic socialism, I’m going to have to go with “yes.”

    2. Many of them supported Bernie because he was an insurgent and a demagogue, not because they necessarily believed in what he was saying. At least one poll showed that Clinton’s supporters were much more likely to support Bernie’s specific policy proposals than Bernie’s supporters.

      1. Clinton’s supporters were much more likely to support Bernie’s specific policy proposals than Bernie’s supporters.

        Isn’t that worse? “Revolution! Fuck Yeah!!!” Bernie wins. Post Election: “Why the fuck is my paycheck so small?”

        1. But Bernie lost.

          It doesn’t make sense, but most people’s politics rarely do.

        2. It took Venezuelans way too long to figure that out. With our momentum it would take even longer, at least, long enough to be blamed on a Republican for reckless austerity.

        3. They had/have an emotional connection to him so it wouldn’t have mattered, I don’t think.

          A lot of my friends are hardcore Bernie supporters and it was clearly emotional; they bought into his demagoguery and shallow rhetoric about the “system” and ignored his deep flaws. Not unlike Trump’s hardcore supporters.

        4. You assume that the people who were voting for Bernie were actually employed in the first place. Some of them might be part-timers, or university professors who are dyed-in-the-wool Socialists, but beyond that I think it’s mostly unemployed college students and rabble-rousers that want to climb the pay ladder without actually doing anything different. Y’know, the ‘McDonalds Entry Level Jobs Should Pay $15 An Hour’ types.

          1. Sadly, I think not. I know a whole bunch of gainfully employed Bernie supporters, including many mature, educated non-academics.

            1. As did I. It was bizarre witnessing upper middle class professionals get a hard-on for Bernie and I think that was his financial base of support. They thought the system was rigged… yes, it’s clearly rigged in favor of upper middle class professionals.

            2. It would appear that socialism is appealing to the very people it would seek to exterminate. This isn’t surprising, but it is saddening. Every time it happens, it will be different than last time. Right?!

      2. Bernie has a small cadre of socialist support, but mostly he scarfed up the anti-Clinton vote. This isn’t hard to understand. Politics isn’t always about policy.

        1. In fact, I might go so far as to say that it is mostly about voting against who you hate the most.

          1. People form an inaccurate impression based on the vocal minorities of voters. People think OMG, the country’s going hard “left”, when really it’s not that, it’s just that there are a lot of Democrats (because people tend to stick w parties) who hate Clinton’s guts. Her supporters, meanwhile, are mostly people who don’t care that she’s a crook, they just remember the prosperity of the previous Clinton admin., & figure Bill will be calling the shots again; these are the people who like it when the Mafia moves into their neighborhood because it improves things, but don’t realize that doesn’t work on a whole-nation basis unless you’re well-connected.

            1. Not only that, but the Democratic Party I recall from 40-50 YA was just as socialist as now, but the “left” has gone more loony-left instead of socialistic. If the “left” in the USA had gotten & kept its act together, by now the USA’s governance would’ve more closely resembled that of typical European countries. So it’s actually a good thing the “left” got deflected into social issues that are more annoying than seriously destructive.

    3. How many Trump voters can explain his position? How many of Hillary’s voters?

      For plenty of Sanders’s supporters, it was about being anti-establishment. There’s the big guy vs little guy story, which libertarians tap into (just not via taxes). And there’s the general fringe element that gloms on to any Alternative candidate: anti-corporatist, anti-NWO, anti-Fed, anti-war, etc. There were those Paulites who became Berniebros, and it stands to reason there are Berniebros who can become Paulites / Johnsoners.

      1. I actually read Trump’s platform, Hillary’s platform, Jill Stein’s platform, Bernie’s platform, Darrell Castle’s platform, Gary Johnson’s platform, Austin Petersen’s platform, Kevin McCormick’s platform and Rand Paul’s platform. I don’t know why people don’t take the time to actually look up ALL of the candidates platforms and make a decision based on that. Instead, the vote based on the parties.

    4. “My candidate lost, so I’ll vote for the guy who is the opposite in every way”?

      For several elections, I’ve wondered how people spew bile about elections being rigged, politicians being in the pocket of corporations, and Citizens United/money in politics… then proceed to vote for one of the top two fundraisers.

      Not that I think the money in politics is an intrinsically bad thing but a pretty standard reminder that people talk with their mouths and vote with their hands.

    5. “My candidate lost, so I’ll vote for the guy who is the opposite in every way”?

      But Johnson isn’t opposite of Bernie in every way, just a lot of ways. In terms of foreign policy, social issues, & civil liberties, they’re very similar. They’re opposite in terms of their economic policies, but maybe 18% of Sanderistas weren’t really that concerned with economic policies. Or maybe they’re really just stupid, or both. My money’s on both.

    6. Johnson and Sanders aren’t the opposite in every way.
      They’re on the same side on issues like drug legalization, criminal justice reform and civil liberties in general.

  4. Better dead than Black and Red.

  5. I’m trying so hard to get my Bernie friends to go with Johnson over Stein, but they are almost all delusional and don’t understand the whole part about her not being on the ballot in half of the states and how Bernie’s socialism was relatively harmless welfare state and worker protection issues whereas Stein is a supporter of actual socialism. That argument sometimes has the opposite effect, which is scary.

    1. “my Bernie friends” I think I see the problem.

      These people are incapable of rational thought. You’re going to have to come up with a feelz-based argument to gain any traction.

    2. “Worker protections” are far from harmless.
      Any benefit forced onto the worker by the employer necessarily comes out of the worker’s paycheck. Those who don’t understand that don’t know how wages are determined. Which is why they also believe without the minimum wage we’d be paid pennies.

      1. forced onto the employer by the government.

      2. “Relatively harmless”. Better than government directly controlling key industries.

        1. Kidney stones are better than government directly controlling key industries.

          1. Yeah. The pain of kidney stones does end.

    3. When a candidate’s campaigning on the idea of lots of choice in consumer goods (such as deodorant & sneakers) being a bad thing, in that it somehow leads to deprivation of the deprived, and food rationing being at least evidence of a good thing, that ain’t harmless.

  6. With the complete disinterest previously shown by the national media to the Libertarian candidates in polling, I’m pretty skeptical of the recent addition of Stein to the national polls. I’d bet dollars to donuts that the primary motivation behind this move is to ensure that the “screw you guys” vote gets split between two candidates.

    There is a good chance that the anti-everybody vote this year is north of 15%. If they manage to make “none of the above” split into two or more camps, they can keep them all off of the stage when the debates start. The last couple of polls had Johnson+Stein polling north of 15%. Not that Johnson could get all of Stein’s votes, but without her in the poll, he probably gets more than half of her stated support, just on a “screw you guys” vote.

    1. Stein already failed to get on a bunch of state ballots (although she’s suing Arizona, I believe) and the Green Party’s goal was only like 30 states to begin with. The only reason for adding her is exactly as you say. To split the #NeverHillary #NeverTrump voters and keep Johnson from hitting that 15%.

    2. I don’t know about keeping them all off stage. What if things got to be as in the primaries, where the front runner might’ve had 38%? What if Clinton soared while Trump continued to sink in the polls until there was an approximate tie for 2nd-3rd place?

    1. Don’t worry, your boy Jeb will fix it.

      1. Don’t count JEB! out. The GOP delegates will be freed by convention time. The bigshits in the GOP want JEB!

        1. I knew you’d deliver. Sadly, i have no cake to give you.

          1. The Trump-Hole or JEB! ??

            Which would be worse?

            I dare you to answer that question honestly.

            1. Dipshit, you can’t answer any questions posed to you, either honestly or otherwise. Why would anyone answer your questions?

              1. Stay out of my fucking conversations.

                Unless you have a question you need an answer to.

                1. I have a question – did you ever pay up?

                  1. Of Course I paid. It was only $20.

                2. You own this conversation? There’s a question you won’t answer honestly.

            2. It’s a good question, honestly.

              What would be worse, having AIDS or HIV?

  7. “Libertarian socialism” always cracks me up. Yes, in a truly libertarian/panarchic society, socialist enclaves could exist, provided that participation was entirely voluntary. In a truly socialist society, however, libertarianism would be anathema.

      1. You can blame shreek. Everyone else does. Including his mom.

    1. Yes. Individualism can simulate socialism, voluntarily, but socialism cannot tolerate any kind of individualism.

      That alone convinces me that individualism is better than socialism.

    2. Yup. Capitalist societies allow individuals to live as communally as they want to. Yet, for some reason, socialist societies can’t seem to bear the prospect of people living capitalistically.

      1. Yet, for some reason, socialist societies can’t seem to bear the prospect of people living capitalistically.

        Hmmm, that also sounds a lot like a cultural/religious/political system that’s been making the news lately.

      2. It’s pretty simple why socialism can’t coexist, human jealousy. If you’re socialist you give up your private property, and when you see someone that still has theirs it’s rubbed in your face that you’re a worker ant.

        Although, for what it’s worth, I tend to believe that every one of the various forms of government work pretty ideally on a small localized scale. Only a few of them seem to function on a grander scale, and of those few work well without trampling on some subset of the population.

    3. Well, there are the anarcho-socialists, there are a few of them still hanging around, even if everybody quotes Monty Python at them when they try to explain their beliefs.

    4. Non-propertarian anarchists were using the word “libertarian” well before propertarians or non-anarchists were (let alone the use of “libertarianism” as the Catholic doctrine of free will). “Libertarian socialist” also saw a vogue 30 YA among non-anarchist socialists who don’t advocate gulags.

  8. “Libertarian Socialism?” What? The? Fuck?

    1. For those who seek to maximize individual rights by promoting the welfare of the collective. After all, do you really have any rights if you can’t afford to buy your kids clothes for school?

      1. You have no rights! You have what the heard deems to be popular sentiments.

      2. You can promote the welfare of the collective by voluntarily donating your excess clothes to those in need.

        1. They keep forgetting that “voluntary” part. Wonder why.

    2. “Socialist ends through libertarian means.”

      1. For most values of “socialism”, such a process is contradictory.

    3. Eh. Still not as WTF as Libertarian Communism. Where you are free to do whatever you want, as long as that includes living in a “voluntary” collective and “choosing” to be an atheist, and if you don’t want to choose those two things you get killed as part of the glorious revolution.

    4. Theoretically in a Nozickian meta-state people would be free to form socialist enclaves of their own accord.

  9. A thoughtful, clear, concise article. Ir provided information and insight. This is the kind of article I enjoy reading. Jesse, you need to start holding brown bag lunch sessions for the other writers. you could even have 2chilli as a guest speaker one day on how to be funny and Balko to talk about proper background research.

    /ahh the good ol’ days

  10. They say that NOW, 4.5 months before the election. This likely the high point since the wounds from the tough primary battle are still raw, Bernie hasn’t formally endorsed Clinton, and Clinton could name Warren or another leading progressive as VP, etc.

    1. That’s both true, and terrifying. If Warren somehow ends up in the mix, I think I actually have enough in savings to wait it out in South America. Say, Costa Rica for 4-8 years?

  11. New GOP House health insurance plan is —–…..1466568002

    Just like Obamacare! (almost)

    In place of President Barack Obama’s health law, House Republicans propose providing Americans with refundable tax credits that could be used to purchase insurance through the individual market. The credits would be provided on an advance basis each month and are estimated to cover at least the cost of catastrophic insurance. The exact value of the credit wasn’t specified.

    1. Tax credits for a catastrophic insurance plan is not “just like Obamacare.”.

      Indeed, I would consider a replacement of Obamacare with a subsidized catastrophic insurance plan to be a significant improvement over the current status quo.

      1. With the ACA deductibles the bottom line is that all a recipient gets is a catastrophic plan. The ACA plans are private and is funded in part by taxpayers. Whether it is a “tax credit” or a “subsidy” is nearly immaterial.

        The odious mandate can go though.

        1. Dipshit. You can’t even understand the basic economics of trade, that dollars imported must equal dollars exported unless someone is burning them. Why would anyone trust your analysis of anything logical or economical?

          1. If that is true (which it is) then no one should give a shit about trade deficits (which I don’t) unless you debase the currency to buy stuff (which you admit you don’t care about).

            1. Which “it” are you referring to?

              Your “then” does not lofically follow form your “if”.

              You make up misquotes about what I admit and what I care about.


              You can’t even pay off your bets.

              You are a shitstain on your own dipshit.

        2. Hey, at least American families are enjoying their $2500 savings off those HDHPs.

        3. With the ACA deductibles the bottom line is that all a recipient gets is a catastrophic plan.

          What goes faster than a speeding bullet? The goalposts of a lying ObamaCare shill.

        4. “Whether it is a “tax credit” or a “subsidy” is nearly immaterial.”

          Err, no no it isn’t, in fact it is huge because it means that insurance providers need to actually compete for those customers business individually and have an incentive to offer a variety of plans at a variety of price points to see which ones meet peoples needs the best.

          With a Subsidy they just have to design 2 or 3 plans that meet the dictates of a regulator to qualify for the subsidy

        5. Tax credit = subsidies?

          The government lets me keep more of my own money, which I could use on healthcare?

          Sure, it’s no long term solution, but it’s not exactly like ACA.

    2. [Paywalled]


      Sounds like they’re trying to untether insurance from your employer. Which is one step in the right direction. However, we need a few thousand more steps in the direction of freedom to improve costs and quality.

      1. The House Republican plan also brings back an idea that Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) had pushed when he was running for president in 2008, involving a requirement that workers pay taxes on the value of whatever health insurance employers provide. House Republicans wouldn’t eliminate the tax break but would instead set limits on how much of the cost of health insurance could be excluded from taxes.

        The party didn’t specify the exact point at which the premiums would no longer be excluded from taxation; that is a detail to be worked out next year. House Republicans cast the proposal to limit the exclusion as a way to increase take-home pay, since workers accept lower pay in exchange for tax-free benefits.

        Two elements that were key to enacting the Affordable Care Act would be preserved: sons and daughters would be able to stay on their parents’ health plan up until the age of 26, and insurance companies wouldn’t be allowed to turn consumers away when they renew just because they get sick.

          1. Yeah, nobody’s going to buy paying more in taxes as increasing your take home pay.
            But they’re just selling it wrong.

            Fundamentally the idea of making employer-provided insurance taxed at the same rate as individual insurance does untether insurance from employment, which is a good idea. What they should do is tax it on the employers end though. It’s just stupid politics to tax it on the employees end.

      2. Baby steps. We really need to take a page from the Fabians at some point and learn that persistent chipping away towards a goal is a more realistic approach than praying you can tear the whole thing with a wrecking ball.

  12. With those new voters maybe we can actually get into the 2’s (i.e., percent of the vote…instead of 1% or less). That’s the stuff of dreams, folks!

  13. 18% of Bernie backers want to stick it to Hillary, won’t vote for Trump, and don’t know enough about libertarians to know that they hate us yet.

    Gun rights? Fail.

    Social Justice and Public Accommodation? Fail

    Capitalism with Pride? Fail

    Free Trade, Privatization of the Medical System, End of Welfare, Fiscal Conservatism, and Taxation is Theft?

    Fail. Fail. Fail, Fail, and Fail.

    We fail every one of the Bernie backers’ litmus tests. They don’t realize that all the things they hate Trump for–except for being warmongers? We’re actually that.

    Trump is more like Bernie than we are.

    1. I agree with you for once.


    2. I see you conveniently ignored the 3 pillars of the Libertarian movement –

      1) Ass-sex – Check
      2) Pot – Check
      3) Mexicans – maybe.

      If you agree with 2/3 of the platform, it isn’t a big leap to get those votes.

      1. If we should arbitrarily discriminate against people immigrating to this country, I’d think it should be against men.

        If women from Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Russia, elsewhere in Eastern Europe, Lebanon, or Sweden want to come here to the United States, then god damn the government that gets in their way.

        In fact, it’s probably worth it to take the bad with the good, so I guess I’m on board with Mexicans.

        . . .and Colombians, Venezuelans, Russians, other Eastern Europeans, Lebanese, and Swedes, too.

        1. We shouldn’t arbitrarily discriminate against people immigrating to this country, but how about limiting immigration to those who are intelligent, skilled, believe in the separation of church and state, value limited government, and other similar values?

          I don’t understand the rationale of letting just anybody in. The government hasn’t exactly been shrinking since immigration policy was changed in the 60s. The size of government has really exploded since that time. California has a large immigrant population and they not exactly a libertarian paradise.

        2. Some guys like Asian chicks too.

    3. Out of the millions who support/voted for Bernie, some of them should be attracted to Gary. It’s not like every Bernie supporter is wannabe marxist even though that’s the impression you get looking at rallies and such. The point is, there are millions more than the ones who go to rallies and hold signs.

      1. Not if they’re voting on the issues.

        If issues matter at all to Bernie supporters, he’s diametrically opposed to us on almost everything.

        I think that most of them imagine that since we’re against what’s happening in Washington, that we must agree with them. But, yeah, people oppose what’s happening in Washington for all sorts of reasons.

        I’m not sure they realize that what they wanted more of with Bernie is the exactly what we oppose.

        No one was more openly socialist than Bernie, and there isn’t anyone more diametrically opposed to socialism than libertarians. Any Bernie supporter who ignores that is . . . somewhere out in left field. Hating socialism and its justifications may be the one thing Libertarians agree on.

        Libertarian socialism may be a legitimate type of socialism, but socialist Libertarians don’t really exist in the Libertarian constituency anywhere.

        1. Not if they’re voting on the issues.

          That’s partially my point. Some may agree with Gary on issues that have heavy weight for them (foreign policy and social policy but not economic policy). Others may just like the outsider status (or something else) of Gary and vote for him because of that. People don’t necessarily vote based on issues. People often vote in terms of simply liking someone and/or disliking someone else.

          1. Plus, the decision-making process is extremely path-dependent. What other explanation could there be for Hillary Clinton’s being a contender in politics at all? If she were only now dating Bill Clinton, would she have gone anywhere near this far in politics?

    4. Talk with more of the younger Bernie supporters and you begin to find that they don’t care about specific issues that much. It’s more about the over impression of the candidate, the feeling. I doubt they’ll actually vote that way come November, but it will probably have more to do with stopping Trump/Hillary than how they feel about libertarians.

      1. It’s more about the over impression of the candidate, the feeling.

        This. He’s got this loud, perpetually outraged vocal cadence that stupid people think is thoughtful and principled.

        1. Jackie Mason has it, & people just think he’s funny. But there are plenty of people who say he should be in politics.

        2. Jackie Mason has it, & people just think he’s funny. But there are plenty of people who say he should be in politics.

      2. Talk with more of the younger Bernie supporters and you begin to find that they don’t care about specific issues that much.

        Really? That surprises me. I figured most of that demographic would be all in for things like the living wage, equal pay, socialized healthcare, free college, etc., the economic policy that libertarians could never get behind.

    5. “all the things they hate Trump for”

      Being racist, fascist, and sexist??

      1. *Regardless, of course, whether Trump actually is those things.

  14. I bet the percentage of Bernietards who say shit they don’t mean is way higher than 18%.

    1. “I bet the percentage of Bernietards who say shit they don’t mean is way higher than 18%.”

      I’d take the spread on that, too. Right now, it’s petulant whining; when the preference is revealed, well….

    2. RC nails it, as usual.

    3. Exactly. Stated preference vs revealed preference.

      When election day comes around, they’ll vote for Hillary.

  15. “I’d be okay voting for Johnson as a protest vote social signalling,” says Brooks. “But as a Green Party member an unrepentant socialist, I’m going to vote for [Green Party candidate] Jill Stein. If you care about the climate telegraphing your moral superiority, like I do, it makes a lot of sense strategically to vote for Stein, because she could get five percent, which has implications for the Green Party getting federal funding that means I won’t have to pull the lever for icky libertarians.”

    1. Clearly you know these types well.

  16. Looking at that book (Politics in Black and Red) on Amazon, it has three 5-star reviews. Two are by the same reviewer (A customer). One says “I’m not saying this just because he’s my uncle”, the other says “I’m not saying this just because he was my professor”.

  17. Libertarian Socialism: Because what people really want to do with their freedom is to be everyone else’s slave.

    1. +1

      Pragmatic socialism is necessarily authoritarian.

    2. If people want to enter arrangements to form communes, in which they take turns acting as a sort of executive officer for a week, with all decisions made by that officer ratified at a special bi-weekly meeting – by a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs, and by a two-thirds majority in the case of foreign affairs – then that is their right as sovereign persons.

      1. You git! If I claimed that I was king brcause some mooistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, they’dput me away!

  18. OT: My rep. to the House, Steve Stivers (R), just had a “telephone town hall” thing where he took questions from (apparently) pre-selected contituents. It made me want to pound my head against the wall.

    At one point, he listed off about a half-dozen bills that he’d submitted that he complained never got a vote in the Senate because Republicans didn’t have the votes to bring them to the floor.

    Every. Single. One. of those bills would have created new or expanded government services or programs, requiring new spending. Then he went on to talk about how he supports a balanced budget amendment. *BANG BANG BANG* (Do I have to explain? If I do, I don’t want to talk to you).

    Of course, most of the constituents were just as bad, all wanting government to do things for them and to fix their problems.

    We’re doomed.

    1. Exactly on your last point. Most americans have absolutely no objection to the size of our government or its bloated spending.

      They know it is wrong but they will never vote themselves into any sort of pain, even though the bottom would be far shorter and we could get back to growth.

      This whole election is pointless. Just hope you are not part of the collateral destruction when things fall apart.

    2. GO TEAM RED!

      You demonstrate why I say the GOP is just as Big Gov (more really) as Dems are.

      Except for a couple of small gov mouthpieces like Amash no one listens to anyway.

      1. “Small government is beautiful” – Carla Howell.

      2. And yet you still pull the lever for Team Blue at every opportunity and shill away for them in spite of being just like Team Red.

        1. Not true. I have voted Libertarian for every down ballot race for 20 years.

          I voted Obama because he is clearly better on liberty than the GOP choices.

          1. I voted Obama because he is clearly better on liberty than the GOP choices

            With your definition of “liberty”, I’m sure that’s true. With a libertarian’s definition, on the other hand…

  19. I would rephrase the subhead: “While there are big differences between Johnson’s and Sanders’ economic platforms, their views have more overlap when it comes to not wanting to vote for Hillary or Trump.”

  20. “Eric Brooks, 52, a community organizer in San Francisco”…….

    Thoughts / questions:

    (1) For those of us in our early 50s, might community organizing be a field open to us?

    (2) What does Mr. Brooks plan on doing when he grows up? Run for the California Assembly?

    (3) Does San Fran Sicko’s $15 minimum wage apply to him?

    (4) What about occupational licensing laws? Does California require aspiring community organizers to be licensed?

  21. I feel like a lot of Bernie supporters will ultimately just sit out the election through a combination of laziness and anger.

    1. Most likely.
      Johnson doesn’t understand that it’s the free shit they want. Hillary isn’t offering nearly as much. Trump is rayyycist. They’re sitting home.

      1. “Johnson doesn’t understand that it’s the free shit they want. ”

        +$15 per hour

        Most Sander’s supporters disagree with Clinton’s $12 per hour minimum wage, because it’s not big enough. They are not voting for the Libertarian candidate.

  22. Since my vote doesn’t count anyway, I’m not too worried about candidates…BUT after taking the quiz at isidewith, I think most libertarians will be SHOCKED to find they don’t even have a dog in this race.

    1. Johnson 88%
      Trump 71%
      Stein 39%
      Sanders 37%
      Clinton 18%

      Although they didn’t ask a lot of questions about things I care about more than drugs and terrorists.

      1. They have an expanded test that is something like 300 questions.

      2. Hmmm, that was not the result I expected.

        Johnson 70%
        Trump 68%
        Clinton 53%
        Sanders 39%
        Stein 36%

  23. So I seem to notice that a lot of Bernie supporters don’t really know or care what socialism actually means…

    Can’t Johnson just call himself a “socialist” and maintain his free market positions to dupe them into voting for him??

    1. No, I think they have enough animal cunning to ask whether he’s a corporate pasty who only supports a $12 per hour minimum wage position or someone who truly understands economics and knows that $15 per hour is a good starting point.

  24. I wonder why in comments around here I Side With & at least 1 other voter-candidate matching site is mentioned, but I’m the only one who ever brings up Project Vote Smart (, which AFAIK was the originator of that format. See their Political Courage Test. It’s considerably superior to one of the sites that’s gotten plugged here that includes attitude or factual questions (such as whether marijuana is a gateway drug) that may have little to do w policy views.

    Anyway, though, matching someone like Sanders is likely to give anomalous results in the case of candidates like Sanders whose views are so extreme that there’s unlikely to be a question listed that brings that out. Same w voters w extreme views, such as those of radical libertarians. The percentage of match in such cases will at least be collapsed so that there may be very little percentage difference in your matching a candidate very closely in fact & matching one who makes you go “Huh?”

    1. This is how I Side With could match Bernie Sanders w Gary Johnson. It’s because they wouldn’t think to ask a question such as whether property (or at least private property) should be abolished?you know, radical stuff like that that’s just assumed nobody would find controversial enough to produce answers on both sides. We could have close matches w Idi Amin too. These sites never ask Qs about cave decorating or raping & eating passers-by, either.

    2. Johnson 80%
      Trump 77%
      Stein 38%
      Sanders 30%
      Clinton 30%

      … and the allowed answers had less nuance than “isidewith”

      1. Which one was that? Project Vote Smart? That other one that asks the dopey factual Qs? Or another? The only one I’m saying Vote Smart is clearly better than is the dopey one.

        Anyway, they all have that collapsing effect, like telephoto optics, because none of them ask questions that only radicals would disagree w others about. Because if you did include those, the questionnaires would be too long for most people to bother completing.

        BTW, does Vote Smart still say Gary Johnson “lacks courage”? They’ve used that label for many yrs. for candidates who don’t fill out their surveys. But I think they’re wrong; it’s not that candidates don’t want their positions pinned down, just that they don’t want to bother answering more questionnaires. The times I’ve run for office, I’ve been deluged w questionnaires, mostly from interest groups, & after a while even I stopped filling them out. 3rd party & independent candidates usu. get the questionnaires late because they’re not listed officially as candidates until late, so they may have only a small window or none at all to fill them out. Major candidates hardly ever do, because it’s viewed as a sucker’s game.

        1. It was Vote Smart. Actually, Johnson was the only who didn’t “Lack Courage”. Instead, he had “Unknown Courage”.

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  27. That’s not plausible. Bernouts was an unlimited scope of government. That they want legal weed is just a side effect of who they are not what they want.

  28. Here is my perspective on why I will probably vote for Gary Johnson in November despite having voted for Bernie in the primary. I should qualify that I was never a #bernieorbust or a #feelthebern kind of person and that my politics fall near the lower left corner of The Political Compass. Thus, I definitely don’t line up all that well with Bernie or Gary Johnson.

    I see Gary Johnson’s campaign as providing a couple of potential paths to broader political discussions within this country. First of all a libertarian candidate with significant media coverage and poll numbers could provide some discussion of new ideas. However, this will probably not be enough to perturb our systems to anything drastically different, almost certainly not in the short term.

    The second path I see would start if Gary Johnson wins a few key states such that the choice of president/vice president is handed over to congress. This would be an education to the citizens of this country that would likely far surpass the 2000 debacle. Now the impact of this could go a lot of different ways, not all of which I would be happy about, but sometimes uncertainty and discomfort are necessary if you really want to open the door to political change.

  29. Yes, more support for Johnson is great. But the person with the most support doesn’t always win, especially with how easily voting machines can be hacked and gamed. This Kickstarter that was featured on the Discovery channel last week has promise. Verifiable voting via blockchain without giving up anonymity.

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  31. Libertarian socialism is like atheist Catholicism, or carnivorous vegetarianism?

    1. Just so you know there is a long history associated with the word libertarian. Here is a taste of that history from wikipedia…”The term has generally retained its political usage as a synonym for either social or individualist anarchism through much of the world. However, in the United States it has since come to describe pro-capitalist economic liberalism more so than anti-capitalist egalitarianism.”

  32. “First: No matter what the people in the survey are saying now, Hillary Clinton’s 55 percent share is almost certain to grow.”

    first, i think 55% is low in the context of right now, but the point above is important. that and the emerging demographics are all hillary needs. it’s why bernie voters can throw a fit all they want. no one cares when they win anyway.

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  36. If 55 percent of Bernie supporters plan to vote for Clinton, that gives 45% to Trump, whether you call him “Gary Johnson”, or “no vote”.

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