Third parties don’t appeal to many voters, who are concerned that they’ll “waste” their votes on candidates who “can’t win.” Similarly, politicians who’ve attained high offices as candidates of a major party aren’t often interested in realigning themselves with a third party.
Seizing new fuel for his appeal to Donald Trump's critics, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson has joined forces with another former Republican governor to strengthen his Libertarian presidential bid.
William Weld, who served two terms as the Republican governor of Massachusetts in the 1990s, will announce plans Thursday to seek the Libertarian Party's vice presidential nomination, Johnson confirmed in a Wednesday interview with the Associated Press. The pair met privately in Las Vegas over the weekend when Weld agreed to run as Johnson's running mate in the party's upcoming nominating convention and into the general election.
"We got together and shook hands on it," Johnson told the AP in an interview in Salt Lake City, where his underdog presidential campaign is based. "It brings an enormous amount of credibility to what it is I'm doing. I'm unbelievably flattered by this and humbled."
Johnson is casting himself as the best — and perhaps only — alternative to Trump, as the New York billionaire's Republican critics struggle to identify another third-party candidate.
The LP presidential ticket has little chance of scoring even one electoral vote; the one and only time that happened was in 1972, when elector Roger McBride, who would later be an LP luminary himself, cast his nominally GOP electoral vote for the LP ticket of John Hospers and Toni Nathan. However, the two-governor ticket lends increased respectability and seriousness to the LP. From the comments to that article and this one, that has some Republican diehards worried:
Add 2% to the est 2% head start they get at the starting line in the form of all Dem votes voter fraud, and the 4% total gets Hillary elected. This is a serious election, perhaps the most serious ever. Gary and Weld are not serious men, they should be done with it and join the Dem Party.
This is good news for: Clinton supporters, And deluded Libertarian voters... who can't admit that their pride and spite will only help Clinton, and hurt America.
Why don't these douchebags just rips off the mask and endorse Bernie? What utter stooges.
The underlying assumption is that the Republican ticket “should get” the votes that go to the LP ticket. In other words, the GOP “owns” those votes, and the LP candidates will be “stealing” them. The same claim was made when U.S. Senator for Minnesota Norm Coleman lost to Al Franken in 2008, except with even more venom.
Among displays of political vanity, that attitude is hard to beat. It also suggests an unwillingness to grapple with why hundreds of thousands of Americans quadrennially cast their votes for presidential candidates “who can’t possibly win” – and of course, an equal unwillingness to work for those votes.
Hubris is a precursor to Nemesis, Republican partisans. You might want to keep that in mind.