Gary Who?


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:

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.

Read: No Electoral Majority – Then What?

What Are Voters Thinking?


We are still over a week away from the first national convention by one of the two major parties and four months away from the General Election on November 8.

At this point in the race for the White House what is on the mind of voters? Pew Research set out to find out.

What was found is that most Americans are not happy with the current state of the race nor with the choices being offered up for their consideration.

w704As you can see from the chart only 43% of Democrats and leaning Democratic are satisfied. Even fewer, 40% of Republicans are satisfied.

When it comes to the question of interest of which party wins, a big majority of Americans think it matter and even more Americans are or have been thinking about the election.

w704aSo who at this stage is getting more voters leaning their way?

w704bAs you can see at this point Hillary Clinton has a 9-point advantage over Donald Trump. Gary Johnson, Jill Stein and other 3rd party candidates trail far behind.

Yet this election cycle more people are voting against a candidate than they are planning on voting for a candidate.

w704cWe have been watching a reality show play out on the national stage, but Americans actually do have real concerns and issues.

w704dTopping the list is (it’s the economy, stupid) followed by terrorism. Rounding out the top 5 issues closely are foreign policy, health care and gun policy.

Of the two major candidates, Clinton and Trump, which is better suited to deal with issues?

w704eClinton has the edge over all, but not by that much. The exception is primarily dealing with race relations, which are back in the spotlight after two police shootings resulting in the death of two black men in two days.

All the rhetoric this campaign cycle is changing the way Washington conducts business to be more in tune with working men and women.

But which of the two major players will change Washington?

w704fAs you can tell from the chart, Trump is most likely to change Washington – but – not for the better.

With the conventions starting on July 18 for Republicans to be followed soon after by the Democrats, all the talk is about uniting the party behind the presumptive presidential nominees.

w704gTrump still has a lot of work to do. If all goes as is speculated, rival Bernie Sanders will lay his campaign to rest and get behind Clinton next week in New Hampshire.

The full Pew Research survey:

From the Cornfield, I am not yet sure for whom I will cast a vote.

I am certain there are two candidates I will not throw my support. I disagree on too many issues and have too many concerns about one of those candidates.

This has me considering two other candidates.

How much faith do I really have in our system of checks and balances to rein in anyone in the Oval Office attempting to push the envelope too far?

Am I willing to vote for a candidate, who most likely has no chance of winning, only to maintain my integrity?

I am a firm believer in voting or keeping my mouth shut for the next four years. Thus, I will cast a ballot for someone – not sure whom.

The Race Is On


The showdown is set – Clinton Versus Trump.

Talk about your thriller in Manila.

This fight is going to resonate around the world as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump compete to be leader of the free world.

But Gary Johnson is hoping to crash the party and score against the odds.

Bernie Sanders is not yet ready to concede.

Will Republicans rally around Trump?

Will Democrats rally around Clinton?

What will Sanders’ supporters do?

How many conservatives will vote for Johnson or stay home?

Will the youth vote be silent without their favorite uncle?

Recall almost a year ago I penned: Trump Effect Or How to Throw an Election

In March I wrote: Trump Effect Redux

Looking through the corn stalks and the desert sands it was easy to see that what matters most to The Donald is not the country, but The Donald.

Now the question is one I raised a couple of months ago about The Donald in: Persona Versus Person

Trying to show discipline and keep his mouth from getting him in trouble, Trump used a teleprompter in his speech wrapping up the GOP primary season.

Speaking of the primary season, it does not end until next Tuesday for Democrats when they vote in the District of Columbia.

Uncle Bernie came away with two wins last light, but disappointing loss in California. Queen Hillary racked up four wins including the two biggies, California and New Jersey.

Hillary has already made history becoming the first woman to be a major party’s presumptive presidential candidate.

Will she defy history and win a third term in a row for the party holding the White House?

Last time this happened was when George H.W. Bush succeeded Ronald Reagan – one of the few times in our history.

Only two Democrats have ever done that and one was Franklin Delano Roosevelt who ran himself for a third term. The other was Martin Van Buren.

Besides Bush, Republicans have three other consecutive third terms – Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes and Theodore Roosevelt.

The State Department announced it will not release more emails from then Secretary of State Clinton until after the election…but on a date that does not exist – November 31, 2016.

From the Cornfield, I am yet undecided and may be right up until I push the buttons on election day.

Yawn! Field Not Inspiring

From the Desert with feet planted firmly in the Cornfield
From the Desert with feet planted firmly in the Cornfield

OK, so it is still five months before voters get a chance to voice their opinion on whom they hope will be at the top of the Democratic and Republican presidential tickets come November, 2016. Yes, in politics that is like 50,000 years away.

Time is running out, however, for any other candidates to get in the race. Deadlines are fast approaching.

As I look across the field of candidates – Republican, Democratic, Libertarian, Reformists, Independents – I become lethargic and near to apathy. My brain becomes devoid of oxygen and a gigantic yawn escapes.

I am not impressed.

None of the current crop is saying or doing anything to draw me in and want to learn more. None of the current crop come close to inspiring me to participate and do my civic duty.

That does not mean there are not some candidates I think are qualified and would do an admirable job as president. But those candidates have set sail and left me standing on the dock back at the marina.

Poll numbers indicate that I am not alone. The enthusiasm level, even among those who have staked claim to this candidate or that one, is nowhere near where it should be – even this far out in the season.

If I could still sing, I would break out in song. I would make sure the whole world could hear me belting, “Holding out for a hero!”

Alas! There are no heroes on the horizon.

As I said, there are some candidates that could grab my eye, if the candidates would only do it.

Jim Webb on the Democratic side is one such candidate. He has more than enough experience. Webb is more than qualified, serving the country in Congress and in the Defense Department.

But where is Webb?

Webb is nowhere to be seen. Webb announced he is running, but he is still sitting on the sidelines as if waiting for a team mate to hand off the baton in a relay race.

Does he not realize this is a sprint, not a relay?

John Kasich is another. Sure he is out on the field trying to gain traction. But he was not that impressive in the last debate. He seemed to be the hare that suddenly stopped to catch a few Z’s.

Perhaps Kasich did not get the moral of the story – how the turtle won by steady, but slow plodding, not stopping.

There are those candidates to whom some are flocking. Those candidates know how to turn a phrase or capture the pulse of the people. Those candidates know how to write in such a way to draw you into the story.

And yet, substance appears to be lacking. Watching them on the trail or during the debates, there is nothing to warm the heart or stimulate the mind.

There is an empty feeling.

It is like going out and pigging out on certain foods, leaving the table and being hungry 30 minutes later.

Is there a candidate in the field or one waiting in the wings who can fill that void or breathe in fresh, invigorating air in what is becoming a stagnant atmosphere?

From the Desert with my feet firmly planted in the Cornfield, I am suffering from political malnutrition. Vitamins and supplements are not enough. I need a shot of political enlightenment from a candidate who can rock the boat.

Where Do They Stand? Anybody?

2016 Election Season – Just the facts, ma’am, just the facts!

The first debate (or was that two debates?) in the 2016 presidential election has passed. There were slight movers, no shakers, but there was fall-out.

Republicans have taken the stage, but we have to wait until October for the Democrats. Who knows if we will get a chance to hear from the Libertarians, Constitutionalists, Greens, Reformists or the independents.

With the summer of campaigning halfway completed, what do we know about the two major party candidates and their positions on the issues?

Donald Trump wants to build a wall between the US and Mexico and make Mexico pay for it, which is not going to happen. Trump also thinks the Mexican government is sending the dregs of society to our country since our government leaders are “stupid” and will take these troublemakers in, making them our problem.

Hillary Clinton wants to hand out a free, two-year college degree and pay for it later with more taxes from American workers. Clinton also wants us all to ride bicycles to help the environment while she boards a private jet.

Bernie Sanders wants the minimum wage to be a phased rise to $15 per hour and a “living wage”.  Sanders also wants to cut the cozy ties between Wall Street and Hillary and all the Republicans.

Jeb Bush wants education to stay in the hands of locals, but with core standards. Bush also wants to do what his father could not and beat a Clinton.

Martin O’Malley erroneously thought that each and every life matters until he was forced to apologize and recognize only certain lives matter.

Ted Cruz thinks everyone is wrong and a liar except himself.

Rand Paul thinks government should stay out of people’s personal business. Paul also thinks we should defeat terrorism, but keep our nose out of the world’s affairs.

Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum are for ending, any way possible, equality for all American couples. The tactics and statements are straight out of the mid 1960s when those tactics were so successful in putting the Supreme Court in its place for declaring bans on inter-racial marriages unconstitutional.

Marco Rubio is all for fixing our immigration problem and a pathway to legal residence. Rubio is also dead set against having re-established diplomatic relations with Cuba.

John Kasich has a similar view on immigration as Rubio. Kaisch is open to loving everybody. He is also in favor of expanding Medicaid, though he is not a fan of the Affordable Care Act.

Carly Fiorina, a former corporate executive officer, is not a fan of paternity and maternity leave – surprise, surprise. Fiorina also thinks Hillary is the wrong woman for the job. Fiorina knows how to handle men in the boardroom as she has all over the world – unlike Hillary who can’t handle one man.

Lindsey Graham is in the race only to keep the focus on national security and the threat of jihadism. Graham has no delusions about being able to get the nomination.

Jim Gilmore is the man who is telling us, “I told you so” on the threat of Al Qaeda and the Islamic State.

Dr. Ben Carson is the brain surgeon, retired, who knows where to cut and how to cut, causing the least pain – but does that translate into economics? Carson also advocates moving on from race and uniting all as Americans.

Chris Christie knows how to deal with a Democratic majority. But can he deal with a Republican majority?

Scott Walker is all for busting public unions. Walker may have maxed out his credit card, but he will have a plan to fix the economy – eventually.

George Pataki, the three-term former governor of New York, has a plan to try and make it to the next debate.

Jim Webb – is he still in the race on the Democratic side?

Rick Perry is learning that song, “If We Make It Through December” and changing the month to September. Too busy figuring out how to keep staffers on the job without pay to worry about the issues and policy.

Bobby Jindal – is he still in the race on the Republican side?

If we go to the candidates websites (a simple search will get you there), sadly we will find little to no substance. There is no meat on most of the bones, if there is even a bone.

So where do the candidates stand and what workable plans do they have on:

A. The Economy

B. Job Creation (good jobs, not just low paying jobs)

C. The National Debt and Budget

D. Energy and the Environment

E. Terrorism

F. Uniting Americans

G. Safety Nets and Sustainability

H. Down-sizing Government

I. Campaign Finance

J. Wall Street, the Markets, Banks

From the Desert with my feet planted firmly in the Cornfield, as I look through the stalks of corn and navigate through the cacti trying not to get stuck, it may be early in the political season, but we know very little on what matters from any of the candidates.


Desert Poll Results


This past week I conducted another unscientific, presidential preference survey. This time it was of residents in the Desert Tri-State area of Arizona, California and Nevada.

Not surprising, the results mirrored the results in the survey the week before of readers of From The Cornfield, Kernels From The Cornfield and CNN’s iReport.  In both surveys, participants overwhelmingly leaned Republican.

Here in the Desert, the median age is 55 years old. Older Americans tend to be more conservative and to vote. This area also holds as a bedrock of American society the Second Amendment.

Here are the results:

Party Preference –

79% Republican 7% Democratic

Democratic Nominee –

Hillary Clinton 50% Other 50% (Extrapolated)

Libertarian Nominee –

Marc Feldman 33% (Need more info) Other 67% (Extrapolated)

Republican Nominee –

1/2 tie Donald Trump 21%, John Kasich 21%

3/4/5 tie Jeb Bush 14%, Dr. Ben Carson 14%, Other 14%

6/7 Scott Walker 7%, Other 7%

One of the others had a write-in candidate of Ronald Reagan – Stan did you vote in the Desert Poll?


From the Desert with feet planted in the Cornfield, there you have the latest survey from Cornfield to Desert Polls.

This weekend following Thursday’s first presidential debate among Republican candidates, I plan to survey who you thought were winners and losers in both the debate and the earlier forum among the seven who don’t make it on to the debate stage.

partypreference demchoice libchoice repchoice

Presidential Preference Poll Results

cornfieldlogoThis past week I conducted an unscientific survey of readers preference for president in 2016 if the election were held today. I also asked readers which party’s nominee they would cast a ballot for next year.

The results are in!

The participants were overwhelmingly Republican supporters. There were votes cast for both the Democratic and Libertarian Parties in addition to the GOP. There were no votes for the Constitution, Green or Reform Parties.

Party Preference:

Democratic Party 7.14%

Other 21.43%

Republican Party 71.43%

Democratic Party Preference:

Hillary Clinton 50%

Other 50%

When adding in those who did not answer, both Clinton and Other received 7.14% which extrapolated is 50% each.

None of the other candidates received a vote.

Libertarian Party Preference:

Marc Feldman 33.33%

Other 66.67%

When adding in those who did not answer, Feldman received 7.14% and Other 14.29%, which extrapolated is 33.33% for Feldman and 66.67% for other.

None of the other candidates received a vote.

Republican Party Preference:

Donald Trump 21.43%

Jeb Bush, Dr. Ben Carson, John Kasich, Other and No Answer all had 14.29%

Scott Walker 7.14%

None of the other candidates received a vote.

From the Cornfield, so there you have the first Cornfield to Desert Poll for the 2016 presidential race.

partyresults  demresultslibresultsgopresults

Polls – Should We Care?


Dateline The Desert: Quiz time –

2008: Who was way out in front of the pack for the Republican presidential field?

2008: Who held a commanding lead to be the Democratic presidential nominee?

2012: Who was the name on everyone’s lips and in the polls for Republican wannabe presidents?

Rudy Giuliani, America’s Mayor, was the hands on favorite in the polls by a wide margin back in 2008. Rudy never made it passed Iowa or New Hampshire.

Hillary Clinton, just like this year, was the Queen-in-Waiting on the Democratic slate. We all know how that played out when the freshman Senator from Illlinois stole the throne by June 2008.

Herman Cain, former CEO, had the whole country chanting, “9-9-9” for a short while as the “Non-Romney du jour”. That is until the debates and by the time Iowa and New Hampshire rolled around, Cain was steeped in scandal.

Currently many in the media are hyping how Clinton is falling in the polls and Bernie Sanders is lapping at her heels. Donald Trump has pushed Jeb Bush out of the way as well as all other candidates.

Scott Walker coming into the race has kept Marco Rubio at bay. Rubio is in his mentor’s shadow while Walker is taking a breather after being cleared to take-off from the runway by the Wisconsin Tower of Power (Supreme Court).

Ted Cruz and Rand Paul are crying for attention. Mike Huckabee is trying to get the choir singing as members are checking out other churches. Rick Santorum has gone to the cupboard, but the cupboard is bare. George Pataki has people asking, “He was governor of where?”

Dr. Ben Carson keeps looking into the waiting room to find no patients waiting for his surgical skills. Chris Christie is asking, “Is there a bridge I can close to keep Trump out?”

Carly Fiorina has learned that being a woman is not enough. For Lindsey Graham he has yet to find a television opportunity he won’t turn down, but people still don’t recognize him.

Border Schmorder, Rick Perry is holed up in the Alamo. Bobby Jindal has found out that he really is “Down in the Boondocks”.

Standing in the shadows and ready to toss his hat is John Kasich of Ohio. But with such a crowded field, does he stand a chance?

Do we go by the polls?

Or is it all just whoever can shout the loudest or hit enough high notes?

When the debates begin, will we see another Perry Minute?

Who will make it onto the stage in August?

Who will be left standing?

And what about the Democrats?

No date yet set for the first Democratic debate only that it will be this fall. Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina will each conduct one.

Hillary is by far the candidate to beat. Bernie is nipping at her heels in Iowa and New Hampshire.

But is Bernie this election round’s Ron Paul?

Martin O’Malley can’t get his name mentioned. But even if he does, there are those annoying questions about his tenure as mayor of Baltimore.

There’s that Lincoln no one is interested in driving…oh yeah, Chaffee. He was a Republican, then an independent, and now trying as a Democrat. Looking for someone to take a test drive, but no takers so far.

Jim Webb, probably the most competent candidate of any on either side, seems trapped and can’t break out like a fly caught in a spider’s web.

Do polls matter before that first appearance on a debate stage?

Do polls matter months from the first caucus, the first primary?

From the Cornfield, as I look through the recently planted seed corn with sprouts peeking through the ground and try not to get stuck by the cacti in the Desert, I would submit that it does not benefit anyone to make a decision yet nor to put too much stock in any poll.

Come August we will begin to see who among the GOP hopefuls has that “it” quality to be president. We will have to wait a bit though on the left side of the aisle.


Trump Effect Or How to Throw an Election


One thing is certain. Donald Trump knows how to fill the airwaves, social media and print.

The cagey businessman, who has filed bankruptcy more times than I can recall, is banking on his ability for brash and questionable talk to keep the spotlight clearly on him to the groans and moans of the Republican presidential field and glee of those would-be Democratic presidents.

Was the tragic shooting and killing of a young woman walking with her father in San Francisco by a Mexican national with a long criminal history and who has been deported five times a publicity stunt gone awry?

Considering the timing of this horrible murder, it is a question which has crossed many a mind and dangled on social media as The Donald has railed against Mexicans crossing illegally into the US of A. Trump has called them murderers, rapists and the worst of the Mexican people.

Trump has tapped into the frustration and anger of people in rural communities and the border states who are frightened with what they perceive as an invasion of the nation.  The validity of The Donald’s claims is not  questioned by far too many. Even when given evidence that Trump is incorrect in much of his assessment.

The man with the hair had to change venues on Saturday to accommodate the thousands who showed to hear him speak in Phoenix, Arizona along side “America’s Toughest Sheriff” Joe Arpaio. Trump did not back down.

His fellow contenders for the GOP nod are demanding, begging The Donald to shut-up and sit down. Trump is ignoring them as if the others in the field are nothing more than the sound of distant thunder, barely audible.

While there is an anger and resentment around the country with the current Administration and the refusal of members of both chambers of Congress to actually address and fix an immigration system broken and in need of an overhaul, Trump’s mouth, for which he is best known for after his ill-conceived hairdo, is causing more harm than good for the Grand Ole Party.

The most recent polls have Trump pushing frontrunner Jeb Bush toward the back of the bus. Other candidates such as Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul have run into a buzz saw keeping them in the back sections of the newspaper, far from the front page.

Mike Huckabee, still pouncing on same-gender equality, can’t find an inroad. Carly Fiorina, the major woman in the GOP field, can’t even rate a footnote. Ben Carson and Rick Santorum are not even ranking distant memory status.

The bombastic, in-your-face Chris Christie is looking for anything – maybe a scandal – to get his name back on the ticker running along the bottom of the screen of 24/7 news networks. While Scott Walker plans an official announcement on Monday, an “accidental” tweet on Saturday failed to trend on Twitter.

An “autopsy” by the Republican Party following its trouncing in 2012 revealed that the GOP must become more diverse and welcoming if it has any hopes of winning back the White House within the rest of this century. Trump has now reopened a wound that the party has tried to suture.

While closer-to-home GOP politicians may fare well in local and state elections, The Donald is throwing up speed bumps and road blocks along the road to Pennsylvania Avenue.

What is the Republican establishment to do?

Trump has more than enough money to see him through to the convention. Trump has more than enough stashed away without soliciting help to run an independent campaign which would only benefit the Democratic Party.

Yes, Trump knows how to manipulate the media and to reach out and touch the people in the pews. But it is the people standing on the outside which are the problem.

From the Cornfield, as I look through the stalks and the Desert cacti pricking me when I get too close, the Trump Effect on the 2016 presidential race will very likely be a lesson for the GOP of how to lose an election.

For The Donald it is an easy way to throw an election.

Trump, a friend of President Bill and Hillary Clinton, sitting on the front row of Chelsea’s wedding, giving to Hillary’s campaigns, for years backing Democrats, is now crowing about being a Republican.

Looking out across the Desert, it is no mirage. Trump is neither Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or even Independent. Trump is Trump.

What The Donald says, does, how he acts, are all for the benefit of only The Donald – America’s interest takes second place to Donald’s self standing.

Madame President?


Will 2016 turn out to be the year when American voters get tired of the testosterone-laden, heavy hand of a man sitting in the big chair behind the desk of the Oval Office?

Will 2016 be the year when American voters turn to the more gentle, estrogen-laced woman to lead our military in times of peace and war?

Many across this nation are crying out that it is indeed the time for a female president. The leader of the free world is the prize and the top of the “glass ceiling” which the “gentler” and “fairer” sex has yet to break through.

The choice of a Madame President is not limited, as many seem to believe, to either a Democrat or a Republican. Most people immediately think of Her Royal Consort Hillary Rodham Clinton as the woman to make the break. Some talk of former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina as the right female.

But not all women are Republicans nor Democrats. There are countless independents out there who sway this way or that way depending on the issue or the candidate.

If you are ready for a woman president, but want someone other than a Democrat or Republican – read Clinton or Fiorina –  or maybe a Democrat or Republican you haven’t heard about, here are some options:

Declared Republican Candidate

Shawna Sterling – MORE

Possible Democratic Candidates

Amy Klobuchar – Minnesota Senator – MORE

Claire McCaskill – Missouri Sneator – MORE

Janet Napolitano – Former Homeland Secretary & Arizona Governor – MORE

Elizabeth Warren – Massachusetts Senator – MORE

Declared Green Party Candidate

Jean Stein – 2012 Green Party Nominee  & Physician – MORE

Potential Green Party Candidate

Cynthia McKinney – Former Georgia Congresswoman – MORE

Libertarian Party Declared Candidate

Joy Waymire – Veteran & Spiritual Visionary – MORE

Independent Declared Candidates

Lynn Sandra Kahn – Executive Consultant – MORE

Tami Stainfield – Computer Science & Political Studies – MORE

Samm Tittle – Entrepreneur – MORE

From the Cornfield, looking through the stalks and the cacti in the Desert, while at this point in the political time clock it is not possible to know how valid the claim that 2016 will be the year that estrogen beats out testosterone, there are choices to be made.

American voters are not limited to HRC or Carly. The chances of the other women running to stake a claim for Americans hearts are slim, but doable.