The Magic 5%

Gary Johnson - 5%
By Daniel Pryor


The result of the US Presidential Election is to be announced in the coming hours, with media attention focused squarely on the fortunes of Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. Whilst the importance of this election for America’s future is paramount, there also exists an overlooked sub-plot. Unusually high polling figures [1] for Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson preludes the potential emergence of a realistic third-party alternative in the next election. Earning 5% of the popular vote grants the next Libertarian Party nominee ballot access in all fifty states. Furthermore, their campaign would benefit enormously from vast budget increases through receipt of a portion of the ‘Presidential Election Campaign Fund’. One of the greatest barriers that can prevent a third-party candidate from gaining national leverage is adequate funding.

Governor Johnson’s proposals are radical. A balanced budget by 2013, legalising marijuana and ending all foreign military intervention will not appeal to all Americans. However, with at least half of the US population believing that marijuana should be legalised [2], more mainstream media exposure could provide the Libertarian Party with a credible chance of popular support in the coming years.

1 A mid-September poll by puts Johnson on exactly 5%.

2 A poll conducted by Rasmussen in May 2012 shows that 56% of Americans favour legalizing and regulating marijuana in a similar manner to the way that alcohol is regulated.



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