Gary Johnson

Four Years Ago This Month, Gary Johnson Was Begging Pathetically for Attention

July 2016: 8% across dozens of national polls, TV all the time. July 2012: 4% in a couple polls, organizing protests outside CNN.


As mentioned in the A.M. Links, a new USA Today/Suffolk poll has Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson pulling 8 percent support nationally, in third place behind Hillary Clinton (39 percent) and Donald Trump (35 percent), with presumptive Green Party nominee Jill Stein bringing up the rear with 3 percent. This is pretty familiar territory for Johnson and the rest of the field; a June 24-29 IBD/TIPP poll had the percentages 37-36-9-5, a June 21-27 Quinnipiac had 'em at 39-37-8-4, and so on.

Meanwhile, the candidate keeps earning free media. Here he is Friday on Real Time with Bill Maher, in which the host closes with "I really hope you get into the debates":

How does this compare with four years ago? Here's a Brian Doherty blog post from July 6, 2012:

poll released today from Gallup that specifically asks about third party candidates Gary Johnson (Libertarian), Jill Stein (Green), and Virgil Goode (Constitution) finds support topping off for any specific such candidate at 3 percent, for Johnson. Stein got 1 percent and Goode less than half a percent.

There was one other national poll showing that month, at 5 percent, but these were the exceptions rather than the rule. Talk back then of getting Johnson into the presidential debates was almost purely theoretical, because he just wasn't being polled.

As for media, instead of getting the full CNN town hall treatment, Gary Johnson in July 2012 was…organizing protests over lack of coverage outside the headquarters of CNN. As the Libertarian told me just hours before last month's town hall appearance,

Four years ago in June we'd be making about fifteen calls a week to end up with maybe on average one national media appearance of some sort a week….As opposed to [now] having twenty national media requests a day.

Reason on Gary Johnson here.

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  1. …and today, he’s calling people “racist!” along with all the other Big-Time politicians. So proud of our boy.

    1. For all of the statements he could have made to make a case for why Gary Johnson and why not Trump, he pulls out the race card? Can he get any more lame? Maybe he should just stick to telling people about his nickname, and forget about all this confusing political stuff.

      We were bound to come to this point, when our choice for leader comes down to Hillary and Trump. We are so fucking screwed.

      There’s a Drudge poll to choose the Donald’s VP. Guess who is winning? Newkerler Newt Grimgrinch. No, that’s not a joke. I’ve come to the conclusion that today’s public school graduates have the IQ equivalent of a toad.

      So here’s your choices for our top 2 leadership positions:


      God help us.

      1. There’s a Drudge poll to choose the Donald’s VP. Guess who is winning? Newkerler Newt Grimgrinch

        I called Newt as his VP back in May.

        He’s a perfect foil. He’s a policy-guy. Trump is the blustery salesman, newt is the wonky sidekick. It actually goes far in pulling back in some of the “#Nevertrump” GOP types who want a conserva-nerd in office, as well as older people who are suspicious of Trump and don’t see him as having any political clout.

        I also think hillary will go with Corey Booker or one of the (texas) Castro bros; she’ll run a ‘minority ticket’ all about *feels* and historic-symbolism,

        It needs to be someone young and dumb to do all the actual interviews and stuff. ALSO they need to be someone who doesn’t dare challenge her in any policy area or has any baggage of their own. Which is why warren is a nice campaign-partner, but no way is she going to be VP. Warren has 10X more proggy street-cred than Clinton and that’s just not acceptable. She’ll pick an empty suit puppet who meets the right optical criteria and helps shore up the ‘youth & minority’ constituencies.

        1. Newt also makes Donald look good in the “how I treat my ex-wives dept.”

          I say this as someone who was reading Newt (Window of Opportunity) as early as 1984. He started out as someone, along with Jack Kemp, that made the GOP look like it had half a brain. (Kemp also made it look like it had a heart, but that’s another story.) Newt’s descent into irrelevancy is a bit of a Greek tragedy, if you consider being Speaker reaching the heights. From being the back-bencher who cracked that Bob Dole was “the tax collector for the welfare state” to borrowing money from the Kansas Senator to pay fines to the House over ethics violations…the man contains multitudes.

        2. I think you’re right on both. I think the only thing you didn’t mention is that with the presidency looking good for the Democrats, Clinton can afford to think about her successor. Running Booker or Casto in 2024 seems like a good plan if only they can increase their name recognition, so she can spend the VP spot on improving the party bench instead of needing it to swing one state or prop up favorables by 2 points.

          Running a 75-year-old Liz Warren in 2024 isn’t going to happen, and naming her VP would leave them the same shallow bench as they do now.

      2. You people are something else. He talks about a host of things. The only time he speaks about Trump’s statements is when he’s asked about them. It’s only one part of an overall interview where he pushes his stances and policies.

        Get a brain people seriously. And buy some tampons too while you’re at it cuz you sound like a bunch of b!t?h?$ on the rag. Jesus…

    2. “The stuff he’s saying is just incendiary. It’s racist.”

    3. It was always going to be hard finding a worse candidate than Badnarik but GoofyGary never shied away from a fight

  2. What we really need is a president who will shamelessly do anything to ‘move us forward’ regardless of silly laws, a leader who is not going to let some old 100 year old document stand in their way, a leader who knows they are above the laws that are for little people. Maybe we will get lucky and find that person.

  3. “Four Years Ago This Month, Gary Johnson Was Begging Pathetically for Attention”

    Now he’s just pathetic?

    1. *shakes fist*

      That was my line.

    2. I remember Johnson polling as high as 11% in 2012, right before he got 1% of the vote.

      1. That’s pretty incredible. Still, I suspect if Johnson can keep this up he’ll be cracking 2%, the Moment is coming (or is it here? I don’t really know how it works anymore).

      2. It sounds like a “vote for Johnson” in the polls is the same as “not voting” in actuality

    3. Reason is just thinking ahead. They can recycle this article in four years from now.

      1. If the LP nominates Johnson in 4 years, it deserves to be forgotten.

    4. Wow that was genius. Name-calling is the equivalent of a PhD in Political Science on these boards. You’ve really made some great constructive points.

      1. I stopped reading at a PhD in PoliSci. You need to work on your compliments, friend.

        1. I stopped taking you serious at “pathetic”, so that hurts me none.

          Now off with ya!!!!

          1. Wait, there was a point where you took me serious? Oh goodness…

  4. Too many people in this country just see government as the solution to everything. Even just trying to explain to somebody why private prisons are not inherently bad and that state-run prisons are often far worse, far more expensive, and more prone to corruption doesn’t work. My entire generation has simply been brainwashed into thinking that private entities are inherently corrupt and the government is there to save us from them, instead of the other way around.

    1. Yes. I keep reminding myself that this is the reason Johnson has to be so timid from the perspective of a hard-core libertarian.

  5. What is that stuff in the video about blind 5-year-old heroin addicts driving cars without a license and then dying after mad max steals their gas?

    1. Aspirational.

  6. So it’s another article from the backstabbers Matt Welch and I love how Johnson was so nice to give Welch his time before the town hall and acknowledged it didn’t get bigger than that and then had the rug completely pulled out from under him with a glass-half-full, blown-out-of-proportion negative article that came out during the peak hour of “Libertarian Town Hall” Google search. So that what curious voters saw was an article that trashed Johnson and painted a bad picture for them.

    Welch you are certified slime, buddy. I would never give my time to you ever again if I were Johnson., please stop covering the Johnson campaign. Your pattern of a few positive articles topped by insult-infused headline/pieces that results in Johnson hate in the comments section and on the web in general is quite tiresome. With “friendly” websites like you we don’t need enemies.

    I already know what’s going to happen if Johnson gets in the debates. You’re going to build him up with good articles, then you and Welch are going to smash to bits afterwards for “poor performance.” It’s already set, and I can see Welch already getting a woody. People and websites like you are predictable.

    Please, stop covering Gary Johnson and the Libertarian Party and just go already.

    1. I agree. GayJay is such a bad candidate reason is tarnished just by mentioning his campaign as the GOP-lite party nominee. If you want a libertarian-leaning candidate vote TRUMP and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.

      1. ROFL

        Put down the bong, man.

      2. Just for curiosity’s sake, what makes Trump libertarian-leaning? Of course, his war stance (v Hillary’s) alone might make him the better choice for libertarians.

        1. Inquiring minds – including a former Atlantic City land owner – want to know. 😛

    2. I agree. Matt needs to stop undermining Johnson’s campaign by writing about how much better Johnson is performing this year compared to 2012. When will the cynicism end??

      1. It won’t end. It’s wired into this hack’s DNA. It’s in his character, or lack thereof. People like this don’t change.

    3. What the fuck are you smoking, dude. Reason has been pro Johnson from day one.

      1. Yeah this article is proof of that.

        1. It is. What are you reading? Hell, Matt is just expanding on what Johnson himself said.

          1. What am I reading? An article that starts off with a headline about Johnson “begging pathetically”… Yeah that’s a can of positivity right there.

            His article after the town hall was just media hack garbage. They completely set these guys up on their biggest night so far and did a real u job on them. That town hall could’ve been covered any kind of ways but they go with the negative version. A lot of people I know were impressed by Johnson and Weld. But leave it to the negative press mentality of “writers” like this to completely piss on one’s parade.

            This guy is poised to shoot Johnson down if he gets into the debates. Him and Reason, with their demeaning headlines and pieces. This is the worst type of media scum, to be honest with you.

            1. Not kowtowing to the writer’s preferred political candidate = worst type of media scum. Got it.

              1. “Begging pathetically”?.Do you seriously not think that is trash journalism? All with the smiley face. Reason and this dude is FOS. It makes a moot point of any of the so called positive articles of Johnson. Their credibility in this realm is shot for me. I used to think it was a decent site, til this BS started happening.

  7. Oh Gary Johnson is trying my patience. I am one of the bigger proponents of pragmatism and the goal of simply advancing the ball for liberty.

    But geez, Johnson is not even making an attempt to defend libertarian principles at all! He did nothing to bat down Maher’s absurd caricatures of libertarian philosophy. He could have used them to gently explain how economic liberty brings prosperity and how the drug war damages society and makes it more likely that a 5 year old would get heroin.

    But I keep telling myself that perhaps political reality makes it impossible to cover such topics in 4 minutes especially with a guy like Maher. I guess it’s more about getting the name out there and providing the barest skeletal outline of libertarian ideas.

    1. GayJay hasn’t had a libertarian idea since he left the New Mexico Governor’s Pueblo (and the state in horrendous debt)

      1. Fuck you’ve gotten annoying. Like Palin’s Buttplug or Tony level annoying except at least they are entertaining.

        1. Go ahead, throw your vote away.

        2. Where did this guy show up?? You said it right before me lol

    2. What do you mean he did nothing? He dismissed the crazy caricature by saying how the other parties have crazy in them too at their conventions. It was such a short interview and Bill kept cutting him off too. Gary did just fine on Maher.

      You know what why don’t you vote for someone else then and quit your holier-than-thou standards somewhere else.

      1. Hey, now we have SIV’s mirror image! Fair and balanced, bitches!

        BTW, I am one of Johnson’s biggest defenders on here.

        1. Yes. Your name is familiar to me : )

  8. RE: Four Years Ago This Month, Gary Johnson Was Begging Pathetically for Attention
    July 2016: 8% across dozens of national polls, TV all the time. July 2012: 4% in a couple polls, organizing protests outside CNN.

    We must never allow such capitalist tools as Gary Johnson to be put into the public spotlight because he and his others represent the very worst of the political class. They advocate free markets, being left alone, personal responsibility and adhering to the US Constitution. Such vermin only infects the wise low information with such nonsense that could bring disaster to our beloved fascist candidate, Trump the Grump or our favorite socialist slaving candidate Heil Hitlery. The collective is easily confused and such wisdom and truths will only annoy our ruling elitist turds enslaving us and confuse the already under-educated collective. This is why freedom loving and prosperous states as Hitler’s Germany, Stalin’s Soviet Union and Mao’s People’s Republic of China had such judicious policies of one party rule and censorship. Confusing the unwashed masses does not help the. Only through socialist totalitarianism can the little people be free from the all too heavy burdens of thinking for themselves, acting responsibly and engaging in the sinful acts of capitalism. It is indeed a state of affairs that Mr. Johnson and his LP followers have not accepted the well known truths the useful idiots in academia have tried so hard to explain.
    Somewhere, Lenin weeps.

  9. Who? How many times was Clinton or Trump mentioned this week?

  10. Ugh, him on Overtime was AWFUL, where he didn’t have a good go to of, “When has the market solved a problem?” esp. wrt to global warming.

    Now, to be fair, I have seen that whoever runs his campaign does get him responses on stuff- he doesn’t seem to get totalled nailed twice in a row. But just jesus Gary, don’t say shit goes over your head, for God’s sake. Ugh.

    Currently, I lean towards Johnson/Weld because I honestly think that even getting 5% of the vote and ballot access would be huge. And even a more “liberty oriented centrist” voice in the conversation may start some conversation about these issues. Look, guys, I’m in my late 20s and I don’t want to have to learn Spanish and move to Chile, so I gotta hope there’s some way to bring a bit of rationality into this conversation.

    1. Learning spanish would help in the US, too

    2. I thought he was pretty good on Maher. According to the You Tube ratings of the episode, most other people did too. What was awful was Maher continually cutting him off.

  11. Gary Johnson still doesn’t show up in the Google News Top Stories, or even Elections listings. You have to search for him.

    1. Hence the campaign slogan “Google Gary Johnson”… Smh

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