Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson has a robust political record. The two-term governor has more executive experience than both presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump. Alongside his vice presidential running mate Bill Weld, Johnson provides an alternative third option that many never-Trump, never-Hillary voters have been asking for. Unfortunately, there are probably more reasons Gary Johnson won't win the presidential election than those voters would like to think. (Sorry.)
Of course, Johnson and Weld are not swaddled in the controversy that continuously circles both Clinton and Trump. The two men in the past have both made respectful remarks about President Obama as well as Clinton. They view Trump, on the other hand, as outlandish and unsafe. Johnson has worked to establish himself as a reasonable, seasoned alternative in an election season where experience, level-headedness, and transparency aren't a given.
Polls have suggested that it's possible for Johnson to take voters away from Clinton, assuming that some Bernie Sanders supporters prefer Johnson. Though there an obvious opening for some type of third-party candidate, the general noise generated from this election — from both a stacked GOP primary to federal investigations to Twitter wars — has prevented Johnson from cutting through the chatter. If you hadn't heard of him until this article, well, that's just one of the unfortunate reasons Gary Johnson probably won't win the election.
Here are eight more:
Trump Won't Tweet His Name
According to The New York Times, Trump's outlandish, viral tweets have earned him $2 billion in "free media" — a huge sum of exposure that, for once, money can't buy. Unfortunately, Johnson hasn't been able to cash in on this phenomenon, because Trump will not even tweet Johnson's name; He simply refers to Johnson as "fringe."
He Isn't "Right" Enough
Conservatives looking for an alternative to Trump likely wouldn't be morally able to vote for Johnson. Johnson's "social liberalism" — a cornerstone of the Libertarian party — might be a non-negotiable for evangelicals who view his enforcement of "nearly unrestrained personal freedoms" as unacceptable.
He Isn't "Left" Enough
Pairing social liberalism with fiscal conservatism, Johnson's consumption tax system might be too much for Dems to swallow. This would require that low-income citizens "dedicate more of their income to purchase daily necessities," though high-earning people could dodge the tax. Not a huge draw for liberal-minded voters.
He Isn't Libertarian Enough
He's Not Allowed to Debate
The Commission on Presidential Debates requires that candidates included in presidential debates garner "at least 15 percent support in independent national polls." The polls weighed are those chosen by the CPD and, in most cases, "national polling organizations aren't asking about him." Thus, the likelihood of Johnson being invited dwindles.
He Isn't Anti-Clinton
Whereas Johnson had the opportunity to challenge Clinton in the wake of her e-mail server investigation, Johnson instead downplayed the allegations, stating: “I don’t think there has been criminal intent on Hillary Clinton’s part. I don’t see an indictment.” Anti-Clinton voters might seek a harder line.
He Doesn't Think ISIS Is A Big Deal
Though he isn't against the United States' mission to obliterate ISIS, Johnson has downplayed the extent of the attacks, noting that "terrorism kills only 400 people per year." With increasing terror attacks worldwide, this isn't an issue that voters are willing to take lightly.
He Has Voters In High Places
Johnson's claim-to-fame is for promoting the legalization of marijuana. He served as CEO of a cannabis-producing company. While this may entice smokers to throw Johnson their support, who knows if they'll remember to get to the polls. Funny thing about heavy marijuana smokers though — their memories aren't the greatest.
Whether you agree with these or not isn't really the point, of course. If you support Johnson and his views, you'll probably vote for him no matter what — or at least, if you hate Trump and Clinton enough... you'll probably do the same regardless. But maybe give these one more read anyway before heading to the polls this fall. Just some food for thought.