Gary Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico, may be the presidential candidate that few people can name or recognize.
For the second presidential election cycle, Johnson is the nominee of the Libertarian Party.
Johnson, with very liberal views on a number issues is hoping his “live or die” type perspectives will appeal to voters in November.
But exactly who is this man and why is he barely registering a blip of 9% in the national polls?
Can anyone consider him a real candidate or just a sideshow?
Johnson served as New Mexico’s 29th governor from 1995 to 2003, a two-term run.
He competes in triathalons and has low-tax libertarian views.
In business he founded one of New Mexico’s largest construction companies, giving him bona fides on business issues.
Johnson is also out spoken on legalization of marijuana and being “truthful” to children about the drug. This puts him at odds with many conservative voters.
During his tenure as governor, Johnson did cut the state’s budget by using the veto stamp over and over. This practice earned him the nickname of “Governor Veto“. In fact he set a state and national record for use of the veto far outdistancing the governors in the other 49 states.
To his credit when he left office, Johnson left the state with a large surplus. He also was credited with no tax increases in six years, a major road building program, shifting the state-run Medicaid program to managed care.
But is any of this enough to get face-time with voters, let alone general election consideration?
Johnson and running mate, former Republican Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, have appeared in two town halls televised and hosted on CNN already this election cycle.
Johnson did manage to tie for third back during the 2012 presidential race in a CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) straw poll.
Johnson, with his libertarian views, is contending for voters that were attracted to Rand Paul, the Kentucky Senator who tried unsuccessfully for the GOP nomination.
Can Johnson somehow pull off a coup and snare some of those Paul supporters?
Johnson also has a certain appeal to young people, such as those who “felt the Bern” during Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ unsuccessful run for the Democratic nomination.
Can Johnson sign on some of those supporters and keep them from drifting toward Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein?
There are those disenchanted Republicans and independents not satisfied with a choice of Donald Trump at the top of the GOP ticket.
Can Johnson peel away those #NeverTrump voters who will also never vote for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton?
The struggle for Johnson now is to get on stage in the presidential debates with Trump and Clinton. He has to poll at 15% in order to meet the criteria to debate.
Will Johnson do it?
Learn more about the Johnson-Weld campaign: https://www.johnsonweld.com/
From the Cornfield, Johnson may not be able to earn the Electoral College votes to make it to the White House, but there is a possibility he could garner enough support to throw the election into the US House of Representatives.