The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Will Gary Johnson Remember to File as a Libertarian?


Politico: “[Former New Mexico governor and presidential candidate Gary] Johnson had run a New Hampshire-centric effort that never got him past a blip in the polls.”

This is the same Gary Johnson who nearly forgot to file to appear on the New Hampshire ballot, right? “Johnson successfully rushed to New Hampshire overnight Thursday after his campaign made the embarrassing realization that he might miss the state’s filing deadline.”

In his announcement of his Libertarian bid, I expect we’ll hear a lot of complaining about how the media never gave him a chance, and a lot of talk about how the “establishment” suppressed his campaign, and a lot of blame placed everywhere except on the candidate and his staff.

It’s a bunch of baloney (other words would apply, too). Ron Paul is running on a similar platform and is close to winning Iowa today. Herman Cain represented a less likely résumé and he was frontrunner for a while. Michele Bachmann has never won statewide office the way Johnson had, and she enjoyed frontrunner status and won the Ames straw poll.

You could argue that with the renewed emphasis on economics and runaway government spending, the Republican primary electorate has never been more receptive to a libertarian-style sales pitch than it is today. And yet Gary Johnson can’t get to 1 percent in a bunch of polls, even in the state he’s allegedly targeted the most. He’s at 1 percent in PPP’s survey of New Hampshire; Suffolk asked 400 New Hampshire Republicans their preference and 3 answered “Gary Johnson.”

Sometimes, a candidate just isn’t any good.

Tags: Gary Johnson


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