Friday, May 27, 2016

Libertarian convention opens to record interest

What to Watch at the Libertarian Convention - ABC News - Ryan Struyk & Inez de la Cuetara:

May 27, 2016 - "Over Memorial Day weekend, the Libertarian Party will be holding its convention in Orlando to put forth its presidential and vice presidential candidates. The party has largely been ignored in previous cycles, but ... Libertarians are trying to appeal to voters disenchanted with the prospect of a Trump or Hillary Clinton presidency.

"'We are seeing record interest in the party,' the national Libertarian Party’s political director, Carla Howell, recently told Politico Magazine. 'Membership has spiked; it has gone up about 30 percent in the last few months. We’re also seeing record media interest'....

"The Libertarian Party tends to be fiscally conservative and socially liberal. It vehemently opposes any government intervention in citizens’ private and business decisions.... 'Essentially, we believe all Americans should be free to live their lives and pursue their interests as they see fit as long as they do no harm to another. In a nutshell, we are advocates for a smaller government, lower taxes and more freedom,' the party says on its website.

"In 2012, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson earned almost 1.3 million votes – the most votes a Libertarian nominee has ever garnered. Still, it only amounted for 0.99 percent of the total popular vote, and the party was far from winning any electoral votes. ....

"Some Libertarians hope that this could be a breakthrough year for the party....  A Fox News poll in mid-May shows Johnson garnering 10 percent support in a race against Trump and Clinton. A Monmouth poll in March showed Johnson hitting 11 percent support....  "The party has also been working hard to ensure its candidate is listed on every state’s ballot — so far, the party has made it to 32 states and is confident it can reach its goal.....

"There are a total of 12 candidates running to win the Libertarian Party’s nomination. Former two-term New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson is currently expected to clinch the nomination.... Other viable candidates include millionaire software entrepreneur John McAfee, who fled Belize after he was cited as a 'person of interest' in the murder of his neighbor, and Austin Peterson, former Fox Business producer and Libertarian activist.

"Johnson recently announced he would want former Republican Massachusetts Gov. William Weld as his vice president. Weld might help make a Libertarian ticket more attractive to Democrats — in 1997, Bill Clinton nominated him as ambassador to Mexico (the nomination was eventually blocked). He also wound up supporting President Obama in 2008."

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