By Mark Wachtler
March 21, 2016. Biloxi, MS. (ONN) As usual, America’s corporate media outlets are giving one hundred percent of their news coverage to the two establishment parties. So it’s no surprise that independents and opposition party voters are starved for news concerning the ongoing race for the Presidential nominations of the country’s other political parties. In the case of the Libertarian Party, one-fifth of the state conventions are complete and former Governor Gary Johnson has a commanding lead.
2012 LP Presidential nominee Gary Johnson is the frontrunner for the Party’s 2016 nomination.
Libertarian Presidential Poll
Back in January, Opposition News published the results of an online poll measuring the support of the Libertarian Party’s various 2016 Presidential candidates. With 488 respondents, the totals showed former New Mexico Governor and 2012 Libertarian Presidential nominee Gary Johnson finishing first with 68% of the vote.
Since then, the Libertarian Party’s national office has produced an official, much larger survey of Libertarian voters. The ongoing poll includes the responses of 8,609 Libertarian voters. While the results have shifted somewhat over the past two months, Gary Johnson has retained his lead over the rest of the field.
Libertarian Party poll results (8,609 votes cast) from LP.org/poll:
Gary Johnson – 4,662 (54%)
Austin Petersen – 1,507 (18%)
John McAfee – 1,221 (14%)
Steve Kerbel – 347 (4%)
None of the Above – 168 (2%)
*None of the remaining 8 candidates finished above 1%.
State Conventions and Primary Results
While an official poll is a fine gage of voter sentiment, actual Primary Election results are far more indicative of who the eventual Libertarian Presidential nominee will be. Of the 11 LP state affiliates that have held statewide conventions so far, only 3 have given an indication of their choice for the Party’s Presidential nomination.
The first Libertarian Primary in the nation was held on January 16 in New Hampshire and the LP state affiliate officially gave its support to Gary Johnson. On February 27, Alabama and Mississippi held a joint Libertarian convention where the various Libertarian Party Presidential candidates debated and Party members voted afterward.
The results were (from MSLP.org):
Gary Johnson – 38%
John McAfee – 26%
Austin Petersen – 17%
Darryl Perry – 15%
Marc Allan Feldman – 4%
In states where the Libertarian Party has Major Party status, voters have had the opportunity to choose a Libertarian ballot upon entering their Election Day polling places. Unfortunately, only a small handful of LP Presidential candidates appear on the ballots. Among the often-missing names are two of the top candidates - Gary Johnson and John McAfee. Two state Primaries that Libertarian voters participated in last week were Missouri and North Carolina.
Missouri Primary Results (from Missouri Secretary of State):
Uncommitted – 1,172 (40.4%)
Austin Petersen – 851 (29.3%)
Steve Kerbel – 401 (13.8%)
Marc Allan Feldman – 241 (8.3%)
Cecil Ince – 134 (4.6%)
Rhett Smith – 99 (3.4%)
North Carolina Primary Results (from the North Carolina Board of Elections):
Gary Johnson – 2,390 (41.6%)
No Preference – 2,037 (35.4%)
John Hale – 326 (5.6%)
Barbara Joy Waymire – 266 (4.6%)
Austin Petersen – 185 (3.2%)
Darryl Perry – 117 (2.0%)
Steve Kerbel – 104 (1.8%)
Cecil Ince – 72 (1.2%)
Derrick Reid – 71 (1.2%)
Jack Robinson Jr. – 69 (1.2%)
Marc Allan Feldman – 64 (1.1%)
Rhett Smith – 42 (0.7%)
Other Libertarian Primary News
The Libertarian Party national nominating convention will take place May 26-30 in Orlando, Florida. Forty more states will hold statewide conventions before then, including five that took place this weekend - Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Tennessee. View the full list of Libertarian state conventions at LP.org/2016-state-conventions.
In other Primary-related news, Presidential candidate Steve Kerbel has dropped out of the race and endorsed Gary Johnson. In his announcement, Kerbel said, “I have met or spoken with the majority of other candidates, and I found that I personally liked each and every one of them. I respect their commitment to Liberty and their personal sacrifices for the good of the nation.”
Finally, readers may have noticed Libertarian Presidential candidate John McAfee in the news quite a bit over the past couple weeks. He earned prime time media attention when he announced he could crack the Apple encryption that the FBI has been trying to force to company to do itself. In nearly every appearance, McAfee reminded viewers that he’s a Libertarian candidate for President, sometimes citing his campaign website. Unfortunately, his campaign website has been down the entire time. Readers can go to McAfee16.com to see if they have any better luck.
For more information on the Libertarian Party, visit LP.org.
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