The Rise of Gary Johnson and the Race to 15%

Aug 9, 2016

Amidst July’s convention frenzy, one unlikely candidate managed to garner support while remaining relatively quiet in the media landscape: Libertarian nominee and former Governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson.

Johnson positions himself as a candidate who values fiscal conservatism, social tolerance, small government, and the U.S. Constitution. Since the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, his support has risen beyond the Libertarian base as he makes appeals to voters in both parties who aren’t satisfied with their nominees.

At Change.org and Change Politics, we quickly felt the swell in momentum around his candidacy.

Immediately after the RNC, Change.org saw a huge surge in signatures on a petition to CNN, ABC, NBC, and other media groups, calling for the inclusion of Gary Johnson in the national Presidential polls.

The petition reached victory with almost 42,000 signatures, just a few days after the Convention ended.

Over same weekend, Johnson earned 670 endorsements on Change Politics. Another 450 endorsements rolled in during the week of the DNC Convention.

According to the Libertarian Party, former Republican nominee for President, Mitt Romney, is among the GOP leadership considering endorsing Johnson and Weld for the 2016 election.

In previous elections, third party presidential candidates have typically failed to gain much traction. But according to recent polls, Johnson is receiving between 9% to 13% of national support, double what it was only a few of months ago.

If this upward trend continues, Johnson could have a shot of receiving the 15% support he needs to qualify to appear in the presidential debates.

We look forward to seeing how Gary Johnson’s candidacy and the 2016 election play out through your voice and vote, across Change.org and Change Politics.

Photo by Gage Skidmore