Gary Johnson Will Run as a Libertarian. Can He Win New Mexico?

More

Its former two-term governor could make a powerful play for the state's five electoral votes.

gary johnsonn full.jpg

After being refused entry into all but two of the Republican Party's primary debates and failing to gain traction with voters in New Hampshire, Gary Johnson is dropping out of the GOP primary and seeking the nomination of a less popular party where his views and dearth of culture war mentality are a better fit. And assuming he emerges as the Libertarian Party's standard bearer in 2012? There is at least one state where he'd be competitive in a three-way race: the swing-state of New Mexico, where Obama beat McCain in 2008, Bush beat Kerry in 2004, and Gore beat Bush in 2000.

Johnson was governor of the state between 1995 and 2003, winning reelection handily and leaving office popular with voters. He'd enjoy strong name recognition and would likely start out the race viewed more favorably there than President Obama or the Republican Party's nominee. Founded in 1971, the Libertarian Party has never fielded a presidential candidate who won a state. Johnson could give that party its best shot at doing so.

Image credit: Reuters

Jump to comments
Presented by

Conor Friedersdorf is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he focuses on politics and national affairs. He lives in Venice, California, and is the founding editor of The Best of Journalism, a newsletter devoted to exceptional nonfiction.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

What's the Number One Thing We Could Do to Improve City Life?

A group of journalists, professors, and non-profit leaders predict the future of livable, walkable cities


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In