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Did Libertarian Gary Johnson Totally Blow it in 2016? Or Will Quintuple His Party’s Best-Ever Finish?

Thursday, November 3, 2016 14:57
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As Election 2016 heads into its final few days, the race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is tightening up and everyone is wondering what new Wikileaks emails or FBI bombshells we might wake up to

On the latest Reason podcast, Nick Gillespie talks with Reason magazine editor in chief Katherine Mangu-Ward and former Reason staffer David Weigel, now a political reporter for The Washington Post. In his latest piece from the campaign trail, Weigel asks, “Was 2016 a missed opportunity for Libertarians?” Weigel caught up with Gary Johnson in Utah, where the former governor of New Mexico told him,

“I think the Libertarian Party will grow by leaps and bounds…. It will be a game changer if I can hit 5 percent. Ten million bucks of public financing. No issues regarding ballot access. There are going to be a slew of new Libertarians, who are going to be former elected Democrats and Republicans.”

Well maybe.

But as Weigel notes, 2016 has so far turned out to be a bigger year for the odious “alt-right” than for libertarians pushing for free trade and more immigration, at least when it comes to presidential politics.

In a fast-paced conversation covering all aspects of Johnson’s campaign (including Libertarian vice-presidential candidate Bill Weld’s “vouching” for Hillary Clinton), Gillespie, Mangu-Ward, and Weigel talk about the future of the GOP if Trump loses and predict whether Johnson will crack the 5 percent barrier (spoiler alert: Only one participant does).

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