Libertarian Lacking?

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are unpopular. Polling this week shows the Democratic candidate for president is viewed unfavorably by 52 percent of Americans and the Republican by 59, according to data aggregation from RealClearPolitics.

Despite that advantage, some Washington D.C., residents still don’t think former Republican New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson will have much of an impact on the race.

Howard University law student Ty Gunne said he believes that candidates like Johnson fail due to lack of charisma and media coverage.

“Third parties like the Libertarians need to have a presence. Say what you will about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, but they know how to get attention,” Gunne said. If you can’t capture mine, I’m not going to vote for you”.

For others, the chance to vote for a candidate outside the primary parties may come in the future, but feels like a waste of time in 2016.

“It’s definitely the right direction for America later on, but if you support them this year, I feel like it’s a wasted vote,” said West Point student Michael L’herault of Valdosta, Georgia.

Though criticism of Johnson’s prospects to shape the race are high, Clinton supporter Eleni Steinman thinks that the ticket of Johnson and former Republican Massachusetts Gov. William Weld could spoil the contest for one of the primary tickets.

“To me, I see it as being kind of like Ralph Nader in 2000. All it will take is for them to get a few votes in Florida or Ohio and they could swing the election either way,” Steinman said, referring to the controversial Green Party candidate who has been criticized for spoiling the 2000 election for Al Gore.

Johnson and Weld’s next test will be qualifying for the televised debates. According to the website of the Commission on Presidential Debates, the two former governors must average 15 percent across 5 national polls before the first broadcast in order to be invited.

 

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