Libertarians are the perennial “also rans” of American presidential politics. When Gary Johnson ran on the Libertarian ticket in 2012, he received less than one percent of the popular vote. That was then. This is now: Johnson is now polling between 9 and 12%. If he can pump that up to 15%, he’ll get a podium at the televised presidential debates.

Johnson is running stronger in some places than others, and is stronger among some constituencies. One of those strong constituencies, surprisingly, is economists, according to The Hill. Apparently, the old joke doesn’t always stand: “If you put all the economists in the world, end to end, they still couldn’t reach a conclusion.”

First, the numbers. In a new poll from the National Association of Business Economics (NABE), asking which presidential candidate would do the best job managing the American economy. . .15 percent chose Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson and 14 percent chose Republican nominee Donald Trump.

The results are interesting for several reasons. The National Association of Business Economics has a strongly pro-business viewpoint. It is not a bastion of liberal or populist economists. It. . .is a shocker that libertarian Gary Johnson would be seen by more of these economists as a better manager of the national economy than Trump.

Why does Johnson outperform Trump among these economists?

Most importantly on the positive side, Johnson represents a clear and coherent economic and political philosophy that conservative and libertarian economists can understand and support if they choose. On the negative side, Trump has no coherent organizing economic philosophy, spent decades acting like and supporting traditional liberal Democrats, has repeatedly shifted his positions on major issues and has little more trust from economists than he has earned among the general electorate.

It is a huge victory for Johnson to emerge in this poll of economists as the main challenger to Clinton on economic policy. . . The truth about Trump is that he is a crony capitalist, who now states that he supported the Clintons and other liberals with donations for so long because he wanted to obtain influence with them while they were in power. He has led several businesses to bankruptcy. He has called himself the “king of debt,” a description that Johnson or Paul and other leading libertarians would never use to describe themselves. . .

Economists live in a world of economic data, facts and opinions informed by their experiences. It is a stunner that in a major poll of business economists, Johnson, not Trump, would emerge as the leading alternative to Clinton.

Whether we agree with him or not, let’s give credit to where it is due to Gary Johnson. It is a considerable achievement that he performs better than Trump in this poll of economists — which is one more reason he deserves to participate in the presidential debates this fall.

How many economists are there? Probably not enough to make a difference in an election, but they may influence others. Trump would say they’re just the establishment—they’re the ones who caused the problems we face.

However, Johnson is also doing quite well among young people—who are hardly “establishment.” This is also from The Hill.

Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson is beating Donald Trump among millennial voters in Colorado, a new poll finds.

The latest Quinnipiac University Poll shows Johnson with an 11-point advantage over Trump among voters between 18 and 34 years of age, station Fox 31 Denver reports.

“Gary Johnson’s campaign is the only one gaining steam the other two are dying day-by-day,” said Johnson’s Colorado campaign spokesman, Steve Kerbel. “Governor Johnson likes to say most people are libertarian, they just don’t know it yet.”

Even more surprisingly, Johnson is beating both Clinton and Trump among active military personnel. The military is usually firmly in the Republican column.

Military troops favor Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson for president over Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, according to a new survey.

Johnson garnered 38.7 percent of the active duty vote, versus 30.9 for Trump, and 14.1 for Clinton, according to the survey, which was conducted via the popular military personality Doctrine Man. . .

Among all services except for the Navy, Johnson performed better than Trump and Clinton.

Current, reserve and former members of the Army preferred Johnson at 35.4 percent. Trump, the Republican nominee, came in second at 31.4 percent, and Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee, at 15.3 percent.

Among the Marine community, an overwhelming 44.1 percent chose Johnson, while 27.1 percent chose Trump, and 12.7 percent chose Clinton.

The majority of the Air Force respondents chose Johnson at 39 percent, but Trump next at 29.9 percent and Clinton at 12.9 percent.

Trump ranked the top choice for the Navy community, at 32.4 percent, versus 31.7 percent for Johnson and 22.9 percent for Clinton.

HotAir tells us that Johnson is not doing badly among African-Americans.

A newly released poll. . .covered nine battleground states and has some encouraging and/or just interesting results for Libertarian Gary Johnson. The survey was of 2700 likely voters and conducted from June 11-20.

Across those nine states (Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin) some big picture stuff. . .

Johnson beats Trump among African-Americans, 7 percent to 5

Johnson beats his overall 11 percent average slightly with Hispanics, with 12 percent

Johnson neck-and-neck with Trump with millennials, 22 percent to Trump’s 24. Johnson’s Gen X support also beats his overall average, at 13 percent. With Boomers, though, he’s only pulling 5 percent.

Five percent of identified Democrats say they’ll vote Johnson; 11 percent of identified Republicans say the same.

And, finally, Reason says that Johnson is doing surprisingly well in the “rustbelt” states—heading toward the 15% average he’ll need to get into the debates.

Some state-specific results show Johnson beating his nine-state 11 percent average in Ohio (14), Pennsylvania (13), Wisconsin (16), and Michigan (12). Johnson’s worst state among the nine is North Carolina, where he’s pulling only 8 percent.

Among the five Rustbelt States, Johnson is outperforming Trump with minorities (12-11) and millennials (28-21).

Although Johnson is beating Trump with certain constituencies, a better look at the polls shows that when third-party candidates are added, Hillary’s numbers fall. That’s because a significant number of Hillary votes are “NeverTrump” people. If they have a third option, they’ll take it.

Also, having Johnson on the debate stage will probably also help Trump. The Donald is a master at playing one person against another. He had a field day when there were more than a dozen Republicans on the primary debate stage. That’s why Trump refused to debate Ted Cruz, and later, Bernie Sanders one-on-one. If there’s only one other person on the stage, there’s nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and no way to deflect an issue toward a third person.


  1. Your support for the pothead is touching, but also ran is not really a good description of his place in this race. Whenever he is remembered, not often, it will be when someone googles the 2016 race to settle an argument about whether there were any third parties in this race. He won’t get in the debate,which is good, because he would just detract from the real candidates and give Trump cover. The only reason Trump won in the primaries was because he had so many opponents that no one could consodilate support against him. One on one Clinton will slaughter him. Trump will look like a Seventh grade class clown, Clinton will be the teacher who is more than a match for his juvenile tricks.
    I think Clinton would do well to get Pewee Herman to stand in for Trump in debate prep.

    • Not support. Just reporting the facts.

      The real pity this year is that the Democrats chose such a lousy candidate, the Republicans chose such a lousy candidate, the Libertarians chose such a lousy candidate, and the Greens chose such a lousy candidate.

      Good year to vote for Boaty McBoatface.

      • I’ve read a lot of articles “reporting the facts”, your articles don’t fit that description. Your biases show very distinctly. That is your right, you have freedom of speech. What you seem to lack is the intestinal fortitude to own up to your opinions. Your statement beginning “The real pity this year” is not a fact, and must be construed as your opinion. That’s okay, but own it, state your opinion loudly. Just don’t try to sell opinion as fact.
        In my OPINION, Hillary Clinton is the single most qualified candidate, offering much hope and needed change.
        The FACT is that I support her enthusiastically, and I trust her completely.
        See there is a difference in fact and opinion.
        But as a “journalist” you already knew that.

        • What we do is not strictly speaking, “journalism.”
          We don’t do first-hand investigation.
          We scan a wide range of media, looking for trends and anomalies.
          We try to stay away from things that are over-reported, unless we see a new angle.

          When we find an article that we think you’d be interested in, we quote part of it, and give you the link, so you can read the rest. In between the quotes, we add what they call in the radio biz, “continuity,” which usually restates the message in the quote, or puts it into some kind of context.
          And we sometimes point out the hypocrisy on both sides.

          The fact that I offend the “true believers” on both sides means I’m doing my job.

            • That should have been the song they played when Hillary was nominated.

              I loved that they played, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” when Trump was nominated. Seriously. They did.

  2. He would have to put down the joint, comb his hair and wake up to actually be effective in a debate. Precious little chance of him doing any of those things.
    As far as Trump playing “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”, I think he uses that as a theme song. Against the wishes of The Rolling Stones. I think that the song is appropriate in that his supporters won’t get what they want (Trump), but they might just be able to get what they need, a real President (Clinton).
    Incidentally, go ahead and berate and insult Clinton as much as you wish. She has many loyal supporters who are working enthusiastically to elect her, and who do have hope and a vision for our country. What you have not done is present any real evidence against her. You rely on innuendo and conspiracy theories. Come back to me when you can find even one small shred of real evidence.

        • Unconditional hero-worshipers think if you mention their candidate in anything less than glowing terms, all the time, you must be “the enemy.”

          That’s why Trump groupies and Clinton addicts get so upset with me.

          • I am not a Clinton “addict”
            I am a regular voter, every year, not every other year or every fourth year. I have followed her career since Bill Clinton ran and won in 92. I have followed politics somewhat since I have been working to support myself. Since I got married at 17 (stim married to the same great girl) that has been most of my life. I was disabled due to an industrial accident about 10 years ago. Since then I have had much more time to pay attention. In this election cycle, I haven’t missed a minute. I have seen every minute of every debate, both sides of the aisle ( except the Republican kiddy table, missed some of those). If one of the candidates said it I probably saw it live, if not I saw it replayed ad nauseam.
            The point is I am not a low information voter, and I am an enthusiastic Clinton supporter. After she is elected I want to go back to my Republican friends and say remember asking “Who elected her”? Then I want to say WE DID!!!
            Sorry for the long ramble but I wanted you to know there are people supporting her by choice and enthusiastically. Not as the lesser of two evils.
            Now since this post was about G Johnson, I just want to ask you what you think about Aleppo, not the acronym, but the city in Syria. If you don’t or cant come up with a decent answer to this question, then how about you quit shoving the pothead down our throats and admit that he should never be on the presidential debate stage.

            • Geez, you may need anger management.
              *He didn’t “shove anything down our throats”.
              * It is your right to skip, or not read the post.
              Accountability. ???

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