Tags: 2020 Elections | libertarian | nomination | convention | jo jorgensen | gary johnson | amash

Libertarians Won't Reach Their Goal of 5% of the National Vote

gary johnson speaking at a podium in a suit and gray shirt in front of an american flag and johnson weld 2016 signs
2016 Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson speaks to supporters at a rally on September 10, 2016 in New York. (Bryan R. Smith/Getty Images)

By Monday, 25 May 2020 07:23 AM Current | Bio | Archive

On Saturday, as they have quadrennially since 1972, the Libertarian Party nominated a presidential candidate.

But for the first time since 2004, the nominee — Clemson University lecturer Jo Jorgensen — is not a former Republican office-holder. 

For those long-committed to making the Libertarians a national political force to be reckoned with, this means an almost-certain failure this fall to achieve their dream: 5% of the presidential vote, which will qualify the Libertarians for federal matching funds that will allow them to compete with Republicans and Democrats in future campaigns.

According to the Congressional Research Service report “Public Financing of Presidential Campaigns: Overview and Analysis,” “New third parties may receive limited public financing retroactively if they receive at least five percent of the popular vote in the general election, meaning that they are ineligible for funds until after the campaign concludes.”

Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson drew 4.5 million votes for president in 2016, which at 3.27% of the vote, was the best performance of a Libertarian since the party began fielding presidential candidates in 1972.

Johnson and other active Libertarians told Newsmax they were excited over the possible candidacy of Michigan’s five-term Rep. Justin Amash, who left the Republican Party last year and became the lone non-Democrat in the House to vote for President Donald Trump’s impeachment.

Earlier this year, Amash formally joined the Libertarian Party and announced he was exploring a bid for its presidential nomination. But two weeks ago, he abruptly ended his presidential exploring on the grounds that a campaign centered on small government would not work in the political climate created by the coronavirus crisis.

“I’m disappointed to see any candidate drop out of the race, but I am buoyed that Mr. Amash continues to be the only Libertarian in Congress,” Libertarian Party Executive Director Daniel Fishman told Newsmax. “And I look forward to his continued espousing of libertarian ideals from Capitol Hill.”

Jorgensen, who was nominated at a virtual convention, is a longtime Libertarian who was the party’s vice presidential nominee in 1996.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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On Saturday, as they have quadrennially since 1972, the Libertarian Party nominated a presidential candidate. But for the first time since 2004, the nominee - Clemson University lecturer Jo Jorgensen - is not a former Republican office-holder. For those long committed...
libertarian, nomination, convention, jo jorgensen, gary johnson, amash
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2020-23-25
Monday, 25 May 2020 07:23 AM
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