By: Jack Vaughan
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Those are the two names that come to mind at the mention of the current presidential election. However, little excitement is met with those two options. The two candidates have historically low approval ratings and are even disliked by large portions of their own parties. This is arguably the best opportunity to date for a third party to successfully compete in a general election and present a fight against the two party system. Gary Johnson is taking advantage of it.
Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party’s Presidential candidate, is a former Republican governor of New Mexico. He changed his party affiliation to compete in the 2012 Libertarian Presidential primaries. Johnson’s views have been described as fiscally conservative and progressive on social issues, while supporting limited government and military non-interventionism. He supports the majority of our current trade deals, supports the legalization of marijuana and wants to current military budget. Johnson is supportive of same-sex marriage and wants to keep God in the public sphere. He aims at making an appeal to millennials and people who are disappointed with the two candidates. With little name recognition and few political allies, his campaign has been and will continue to be an uphill battle.
One of Gary Johnson’s current goals is to make it onto the debate stage alongside Clinton and Trump on September 26. In order to do so, he must reach the 15 percent mark in the polls prior to the time of the debate. According to the RealClearPolitics average, Johnson polls at 9 percent in a three-way race (compared to Clinton’s 43 percent and Trump’s 38.3 percent). In order to raise his poll numbers, Johnson has been holding events throughout the country. The majority of his events have been held at colleges, which is part of his strategy to appeal to students and millennial voters. Most events are being held in swing states, such as New Hampshire, Iowa, and Colorado. If he makes the debate stage, he will have major media exposure that he needs.