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Breaking It Down Gary Johnson

Third party candidates in a presidential election are not a new concept, so what makes
Gary Johnson so different than any third party candidate before him?

Hes polling at 10 percent of all registered voters, which if he keeps up until election day,
will count for more votes than any third party candidate has received in twenty years,
which is impressive.

But to the more important question, why should you even care?

To some, this is obvious. I mean its a presidential election, hes a candidate, thats
enough right there to convince some that we should know his platform.

But, to everyone else, the reason why this matters is because third party candidates and
how well they do tells us something about how the two major parties are doing, how well
they are representing the needs of the average voter, and they give us another option that
could easily sway the final outcome of the election.

So in Johnsons case, that 10% support of ALL REGISTERED VOTERS tells us that the
average voter doesnt like what theyre seeing out of Clinton and Trump. But, we didnt
need Gary Johnson to be able to see that. What is important is that his positions and ideas
could have the ability to pull away enough voters from the other two to dramatically
change the outcome of who wins in November. Who knows, he could even win.

His rise also just serves as proof of the failings in our current system and how the
majority is unhappy with the results weve gotten so far. Its an important signal for the
future to find new solutions to problems and come up with ideas that voters actually

With that, what is it really about Johnson that makes him so incredible? Well, maybe
nothing. Lets look at his track record. His political experience begins and ends with his
time as Governor of New Mexico from 1995-2003 as a Republican. Not that thats bad,
thats far more political experience than Trump can claim.

But what did he do while in office?

Some critics have ripped Johnson apart for being irresponsible with money, pointing to a
budget growth of 41% during his tenure. When he entered office his budget was $2.7
billion, and when he left, it was $3.9 billion. In addition, upon arrival he inherited a debt
of $1.8 billion and eventually left office with a debt of about $4.6 billion. However, the
National Review came to his defense on this topic, explaining that a big part of spending
for Johnson was not his own statewide expenses sucking up taxpayer dollars, but rather
federal programs that are mandated, such as Medicaid and education funding.
What Johnson was known for was his reforms that were frequently shot down because he
was out-manned by Democrats in the legislature who shut down his Republican
proposals. He attempted to create a more free market, and was able to get the approval for
private companies to build and operate private prisons rather than government-run, which
some see as better because they do NOT rely on taxpayer dollars and tend to be much

So, make a long story short, he wasnt doing anything groundbreaking.

Maybe the reason for his appeal is limited to the fact that head-pounding frustrations are
driving both Democrats and Republicans away from their own parties, and as the clock is
running down, the walls are closing in.

Particularly when we look at Johnsons support base we can see the people fleeing from
either side.
62% of his base are Independent
32% are younger than 30 years old
51% women and 49% men
The most striking difference is with age. Compare that 32% with 15% of Clinton
supporters younger than 30 and only 12% for Trump. Both Clinton and Trump are
ranging at 30-35% of supporters above 50, while Johnson gets 21% of his support from
this age group. It appears that Millennials arent falling for either side in our bi-partisan
system, and were saying NO to having to choose between two completely opposite
(and equally frightening) ends of the spectrum.

However, Johnson isnt SO representative. 79% of his base is White, and just 13% is
either Black or Latino, according to Pew Research Center. So, if he really wants to get to
that 15% in the national polls to make it to the debate stage, he needs to work on

But, in order to help with that, and because I truly would like to see him in the debates,
going toe-to-toe in what could be one of the most controversial presidential elections in
history, I put together a small rundown of some big-issue topics important that can help
clear up what this guy stands for. These are all taken from his website, or quoted by him
and verified by sources such as

Socially liberal (which is especially surprising for a former Republican): He is

pro-choice, pro same-sex marriage, BUT tends to lean conservative on
environmental policy, believing there are too many restrictions by the EPA.
Very liberal when it comes to immigration, and wants to make a more efficient
system to give work visas, complete background checks, and motivate non-
citizens to pay their fair share in taxes.
In favor of a FairTax (this is a policy in which the ONLY tax is a consumption
tax of 23%, all other taxes, like a payroll tax that takes money from your
paycheck at the end of the year, would vanish). This is a tax on how much you
spend, NOT how much you earn.
Opposes stricter criminal sentencing, however pro-death penalty, STRONGLY
favors gun rights
STRONGLY opposes Obamacare and intends to repeal it and allow states to
handle how it will give healthcare to the poor.
Believes education should be left to state and local governments, not federal.
Would eliminate the Department of Education and is pro-school choice.
Believes in the legalization of marijuana
Generally believes in the spread of free trade abroad (or globalization) with
complex trade agreements like NAFTA with no tariffs to businesses abroad.
Believes in pulling out military forces across the globe to focus on problems at
home, does not believe that our intervention has done much besides put us at risk.

Whether you believe Johnson deserves a place on the debate stage is irrelevant. As a
third-party candidate who is pulling off one of the largest shares of voters in history, he
deserves to at least tell his story to those who arent warming up to options 1 and 2.

And really, he could be one of the most brilliant third-party candidates in history, striking
at such a tenuous political time in the country.

It is also your right to know, as voters, exactly what youre facing when a ticket is staring
you in the face boldly bearing a name that could impact your daily life for the next four to
eight years.

Choose wisely!

Breaking It Down Gary Johnson.

DISCLAIMER: My reason for not including Jill Stein of the Green Party in my analysis
of her positions is not because I do not find her legitimate as a candidate. I made a
conscious choice not to include an in-depth analysis of her positions because she is
consistently ranking at 3-5% in national polls, which is much more typical of third-party
candidates. The reason why I wanted to look further at Gary Johnson is because he has
proven himself to be the exception, while Jill Stein is very much what we would expect
for results of third party candidates. In addition, after looking at her positions on issues I
have found that her views align pretty closely to those of the Democratic Party. Both
align on so many issues on the liberal end of the spectrum to the point where I feel the
parties do not differ enough to strongly distinguish Stein from a candidate such as Hillary
Clinton. However, if you disagree I strongly encourage you to tell me, and I have
attached a link that compares the two side-by-side for your own analysis.