Theoretically speaking, the Libertarian candidate could mount a surprise populist campaign this fall and build up enough support with his everyman message to upset conventional wisdom and become the first-ever third party candidate to win the presidency, thus overturning everything we thought we knew about American politics and changing the course of American history.
Theoretically, that could happen. It totally could. All kinds of things could happen, theoretically speaking. That's why Libertarians choose to live in the magical land of "Theoretically Speaking." After all, that's where their policies make sense.
In the real world, though, Gary Johnson could make an impact on history, but in a slightly different way…
Poll after poll shows lackluster enthusiasm for Obama and Romney, along with continuing voter disgust with Washington and most national institutions. That probably isn't enough to push even a single electoral vote into Johnson's camp. It could, however, put just enough ballots in Johnson’s column — in a kind of disaffected, "throw-the-bums-out" way — to affect the outcome in a handful of states.
Early polling has shown Johnson taking more from Romney, although pollsters say he’s peeling off votes from Obama as well. Johnson has said he expects to be on the ballot in all 50 states.
If there's an opportunity for Johnson to make a difference anywhere, it's likely in Mountain states such as his native New Mexico, and Colorado and Nevada, where he could shave votes from the major-party candidates. In a close race that neither side thinks will be an electoral landslide, Johnson could make a real difference — especially with Ron Paul’s libertarian-leaning backers now up for grabs.
Theoretically speaking, somebody might someday be moved to carve the faces of Ross Perot, Ralph Nader and Gary Johnson on the side of a mountain. Theoretically speaking…
Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Gary Johnson, Libertarian, Third Party
George H.W. Bush on 1992 third party presidential candidate Ross Perot…
"I think he cost me the election, and I don't like him."
Ironically, that's pretty much Ross Perot's most endearing quality.
Tags: 1992, George H.W. Bush, Quote Unquote, Ross Perot, Third Party
This, I'm sure, will come as a crushing blow to all of you as soon as I remind you that Buddy Roemer is a person who, until extremely recently, was running for president…
Former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer announced in a statement this morning that his quixotic independent campaign for president has come to an end.
After failing to get access to the GOP primary debates last year, Roemer had decided to run as an independent and seek the Reform Party and Americans Elect nominations. Then, Americans Elect folded earlier this month, while Roemer continued to struggle to draw attention and interest to his campaign.
First Rick, then Newt, and now Bucky. Or, Buddy, I mean. (It's Buddy, right?) It never gets any easier, does it?
I'm just glad that this will give Mr. Roemer more time to be vie for the slightest little bit of attention from his friends and family.
Photo by Steve Pope/Getty Images/Getty Images
Tags: Buddy Roemer, Louisiana, Third Party
Jon Huntsman — who was laughed out of the Republican primary for the unforgivable sin of accepting empirical evidence — was on Morning Joe this morning, talking to Joe, and he seemed more than a little upset at the speed with which his political party is sprinting toward the Dark Ages…
"Gone are the days when the Republican Party used to put forward big, bold, visionary stuff… I see zero evidence of people getting out there and addressing the economic deficit — which is a national-security problem, for heaven's sake," he said. "I think we're going to have problems politically until we get some sort of third-party movement or some alternative voice out there that can put forward new ideas."
Okay, technically speaking, there already is a third party movement in the U.S. And a fourth party. And a fifth party. And a nineteenth party. I always wonder how many walls get punched in the Libertarian, Green and Constitution party headquarters when people like Huntsman go on television and opine about a lack of third party options.
Tags: Jon Huntsman, Primaries, Republicans, Third Party
Let's say you're a Democrat with a fat check for $500,000 dollars in your hand. You'd like to give it put it towards President Obama's re-election campaign, but handing money over to his super PAC looks like it'd be about as useful as burning it on a pyre to the incorporal spirit of George Soros. Which is to say, only a little bit.
Here's a crazy idea. You could contribute it to Ron Paul's campaign. No, not his Republican campaign. His possibly eventual independent third party campaign. That seems to be Obama's best shot at ensuring he'd get to keep his comfy chair in that oval-shaped room…
In a general election matchup, 50% of registered voters say they would vote for Obama while 45% support Romney. That is little changed from November (49% Obama, 47% Romney), and early October (48% each).
The survey finds that a third-party campaign by Ron Paul would clearly work to Obama's advantage: In this scenario, 44% of registered voters say they would favor Obama, 32% would back Romney and 18% would back Paul.
Paul has repeatedly said he is not contemplating a third-party run, but has not ruled it out. While most of Paul's backing in a three-person race comes from independent voters, they are independents who disproportionately lean Republican. A Paul candidacy would also appeal to many conservative Republicans, siphoning votes from the core Republican base as well.
So, is there any chance that Ron Paul would actually run as a third party candidate? I'd love to say there is, but I just can't imagine it. Think about it: Do you really think that Ron Paul would risk putting himself at complete odds with the Republican elite and alienating himself from party's national base?
I mean, more so?
Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Third Party