Gary Johnson Grassroots Blog

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Libertarian candidate generate most sharing of iSideWith results

Interestingly, when people find out they side with the Libertarian candidate in the Presidential Race based on the issues (on they are more likely to share their results than supporters of any of the other candidates.

Could it be that the two million plus quiz takers are finding out about a candidate for the first time and are excited they have a real choice so they are sharing it?

Also, note the small print - if you take the iSideWith quiz on a Wednesday and you share your results with your Facebook friends, then even more of  your friends are most likely to take the quiz, too.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Gov Gary Johnson Sends Letter To The Commission On Presidential Debates

Gary Johnson 2012

On Monday, August 20, 2012, Gov. Gary Johnson sent the following letter to the Executive Director, the Co-Chairmen, and the Board of Directors of the Commission on Presidential Debates.

The Commission on Presidential Debates began in 1987 by the Democratic and Republican parties to establish the way that presidential election debates are run between presidential candidates.

Inclusion in the Presidential Debates

To the Commission on Presidential Debates,

I am writing to request that the National Commission on Presidential Debates reconsider your current – and exclusionary – requirements for participation in this Fall’s all-important Presidential and Vice-Presidential debates.

I am well aware of the history and genesis of the Commission, including the reality that it was created largely by the respective national leadership of the Democrat and Republican Parties. While I respect and understand the intention to provide a reasonable and theoretically nonpartisan structure for the presidential debate process, I would suggest that the Commission’s founding, organization and policies are heavily skewed toward limiting the debates to the two so-called major parties.

That is unfortunate, and frankly, out of touch with the electorate. You rely very heavily on polling data to determine who may participate in your debates, yet your use of criteria that are clearly designed to limit participation to the Republican and the Democrat nominee ignore the fact that many credible polls indicate that a full one-third of the electorate do not clearly identify with either of those parties. Rather, they are independents whose voting choices are not determined by party affiliation.

That one-third of the voters, as well as independent-thinking Republicans and Democrats, deserve an opportunity to see and hear a credible “third party” candidate. I understand that there are a great many “third party” candidates, and that a line must be drawn somewhere. However, the simple reality of our Electoral College system draws that line in a very straightforward and fair way – a reality that is reflected in your existing criteria. If a candidate is not on the ballot in a sufficient number of states to be elected by the Electoral College, it is perfectly logical to not include that candidate in a national debate. If, on other hand, a candidate IS on the ballot in enough states to be elected, there is no logic by which that candidate should be excluded.

Nowhere in the Constitution or in law is it written that our President must be a Democrat or a Republican. However, it IS written that a candidate must receive a majority of the votes – or at least 50% – cast by electors, and that any candidate who does so, and otherwise meets the Constitution’s requirements, may be President.

As the Libertarian Party’s nominees for Vice-President and President, Judge Jim Gray and I have already qualified to be on the ballot in more than enough states to obtain a majority in the Electoral College, and we are the only candidates other than the Republican and Democrat nominees to have done so, or who are likely to do so. In fact, we fully intend and expect to be on the ballots of all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

However, the Commission has chosen to impose yet another requirement for participation: 15% in selected public opinion polls. Unlike your other requirements, this polling performance criterion is entirely arbitrary and based, frankly, on nothing other than an apparent attempt to limit participation to the Democrat and the Republican.

Requiring a certain level of approval in the polls has nothing to do with fitness to serve, experience, or credibility as a potential President. Rather, it has everything to do with the hundreds of millions of dollars available to and spent by the two major party candidates, the self-fulfilling bias of the news media against the viability of third party candidates, and an ill-founded belief that past dominance of the Republican and Democrat Parties should somehow be a template for the future.

In all due respect, it is not the proper role of an nonelected, private and tax-exempt organization to narrow the voters’ choices to only the two major party candidates – which is the net effect of your arbitrary polling requirement. To the contrary, debates are the one element of modern campaigns and elections that should be immune to unfair advantages based upon funding and party structure. Yet, it is clear that the Commission’s criteria have both the intent and the effect of limiting voters’ choices to the candidates of the two major parties who, in fact, created the Commission in the first place.

Eliminating the arbitrary polling requirement would align the Commission and its procedure for deciding who may participate in the critical debates with fairness and true nonpartisanship, which was the purported intent behind the Commission’s creation. As of right now, eliminating that requirement would not disrupt the process or make it unmanageable. Rather, it would simply allow the participation of a two-term governor who has more executive experience than Messrs. Obama and Romney combined, who has garnered sufficiently broad support to be on the ballot in more than enough states to achieve a majority in the Electoral College, and who, without the help of party resources and special interests, has attracted enough financial support to qualify for presidential campaign matching funds.

I urge and request you to remove the partisanship from the debates, and allow the voters an opportunity to hear from all of the qualified candidates – not just those who happen to be a Democrat or a Republican.

Thank you.

Governor Gary Johnson

Libertarian Nominee for President of the United States

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Gary Johnson on Paul Ryan: "He Is Anything But A Libertarian"

Gary Johnson is not happy that some in the media call Republican vice presidential candidate and Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan a libertarian.

“He voted for the Patriot Act, he voted for the National Defense Appropriation Act, he voted to ban online poker, he’s proposing a budget that gets balanced in thirty years. He is anything but a libertarian, anything but,” said Johnson after a packed campaign dinner at Hill’s CafĂ©.

Johnson, the Libertarian Party nominee for president, noted that Ryan was a strict social conservative that voted to restrict abortion rights and against marriage equality.

“Paul Ryan submitted personhood legislation that is anything but libertarian,” he said. Johnson's eyes widened and his volume increased as he went into detail about Ryan’s support for a national version of Virginia’s controversial transvaginal ultrasound law.

Johnson suggested that all the talk of Ryan as a libertarian and follower of Ayn Rand may help him because people will see pretty quickly that former New Mexico governor is the only real libertarian running.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Roger Stone: Why Scott Rasmussen Is Wrong To Exclude Gary Johnson From His Polls

The Stone Zone
Pollster Scott Rasmussen's explanation as to why he is not including Governor Gary Johnson in his Presidential polling reminds me somewhat of the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland. Nothing Rasmussen says makes any sense.

A poll which does not test all the candidates who are on the ballot is by definition unprofessional, unscientific, flawed and inaccurate.

Rasmussen says, "We have concluded that the most accurate measure of the Obama - Romney race is to leave Johnson out of the mix". Huh?

As a political scientist clearly Rasmussen knows it is impossible for Johnson, who will be on the ballot in all 50 states, to get zero votes, thus any measure of the electorate that does not include him will be incorrect.

Rasmussen also defends himself by saying that it is more accurate to ask the voters if they are voting for Romney, Obama or "some other candidate" even though in the vast majority of states Johnson is the only "other candidate" on the ballot.

Rasmussen goes on further to insist that those voters who chose "some other candidate" in his polls opted to drift back to the major parties when asked if they could change their mind. Not surprising in view of the fact that the Pollster doesn't mention the "other candidates" name.

The assertion that 3rd party candidacies fade as the election approached was certainly true - before the full development of the Internet as a communications tool. The demassification of communications in our culture has given way to greater independence by voters and less reliance and faith in political parties.

Governor Johnson is owed substantial public funds from the Federal Election Commission and as his campaign fundraising continues to improve it is safe to say that he will have the resources to communicate in the swing states in the fall.

In 2000, Pollsters like Scott Rasmussen failed to include Ralph Nader in their polling in Florida. Thus, they failed to see the votes Nader drained from Al Gore. Not polling the name of all candidates on the ballot is by a pollster is malpractice.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Gary Johnson Gets 24% In New LASPAC Nationwide Poll

Gary Johnson has gained 5 points since last month's LASPAC poll while Obama is down 11.

This is further proof that Governor Johnson is a legitimate contender for the Presidency and that the bias against him by the mediots, other polling organizations and the Commission on Presidential Debates is just that, bias.

Instead, because of the way that the system is rigged by and set up to favor only the Republiocrats, other candidates are excluded from consideration and do not get a fair shake. This deprives the American electorate of truly fair and free elections.

In a nationwide poll of 1,000 likely voters, 24% of respondents said they would vote for Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson.

Likely voters were asked, “Suppose in this year’s Presidential Election you had a choice of Libertarian Gary Johnson or Democrat Barack Obama. If the election were held today would you vote for Libertarian Gary Johnson or Democrat Barack Obama?”

24% Johnson
45% Obama
27% Some other candidate
3% Not sure

This national telephone survey of 1,000 likely voters was conducted by Pulse Opinion Research on August 8, 2012. Pulse Opinion Research, LLC is an independent public opinion research firm using automated polling methodology and procedures licensed from Rasmussen Reports, LLC. The poll was conducted on behalf of Libertarian Action Super PAC.

Pulse Opinion Research has handled public opinion polls for organizations such as Rasmussen Reports and The Hill newspaper.

View the poll results

The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) has said that its threshold for getting into their debates is 15%. According to this poll, Libertarian Gary Johnson easily passes that test.

Some observers believe that two-candidate polls can produce biased results if there are more than two candidates running. However, the Commission on Presidential Debates apparently uses two-candidate polls when deciding whom to allow in its televised debates. (Those polls only include the Democratic and Republican candidates.)

The LASPAC poll follows the pattern of two-candidate polls conducted by other polling organizations.


* The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) can’t have it both ways. If two-candidate polls are acceptable, then this poll should count toward the inclusion of Gary Johnson. If two-candidate polls are not acceptable, then CPD must not consider any two-candidate polls from other polling firms. Any other choice would demonstrate partisan bias on the part of CPD. (As a 501(c)(3) organization, CPD is not permitted to show partisan bias when making its selections.)

* A large percentage of voters are clearly willing to consider Libertarian Gary Johnson as an option. His name should be included in all presidential polls.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Electoral Results: 1.4 million Take Online Political Quiz iSideWith

What if people voted for which candidate they most closely aligned with on issues, and not based on who the media gatekeepers thinks you should vote for? -- PART II

Last month, I blogged about the results of's quiz, when just over 600,000 visitors had taken their online quiz based on the issues, in a post titled "Johnson wins election if based on issues." has been overwhelmed with participants and now there have been over 1,400,000 quiz taker results. I had wanted to write an update at the 1,000,000 mark, but the consequence of their success was that they had to take down their state-by-state statistics for a few weeks so they could upgrade their software and crank through all of the results to give us updated state-by-state statistics.

The new state-by-state stats are now available. I've run all the calculations again, and here is the new map.

The map is created of over 1,400,000 quiz taker results on the iSideWith site. Users answer 36 questions that cover a range of issues from social, environment, science, foreign policy, domestic policy, immigration, the economy, and healthcare. Their answers are matched up with the candidates' answers, and then they are shown who they align most closely with based on a percentage scale, including percentage alignments of the other candidates so you can see the candidate you least agree with as well.

iSideWith generates state-by-state breakdowns so you can see which state's population of quiz takers supports which candidate from the most to least. I tabulated the data and assigned the electoral votes to the "winner" of each state. In case of ties, the electoral votes are divided evenly and the map shows multicolored lines in tied states. iSideWith included a couple candidates in their questionnaire who will only be on the ballot in a handful of states so I excluded them, but I did include the Constitution, Democrat, Green, Libertarian, and Republican candidates.


Barack Obama, as the incumbent, wins a total of 300.5 electoral votes in 26 states. He wins the states you’d expect him to win - the West Coast, Northeast and a few in the Great Lakes region.

Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party) loses the title of President from the first report, but he holds on to first place in 26 states surpassing everyone else, except Obama. Johnson receives 231.5 electoral votes.

Ron Paul loses the three states from the first report, but takes first in Mississippi. He had the highest number of 2nd place finishes in the first report, but slipped to only 15 second place finishes this time. Paul received 6 electoral votes.

Jill Stein (Green Party) loses ground since the first update. She doesn't win any states, but places 2nd in 16 states which gives her the highest number of 2nd place finishes. Zero electoral votes.

Mitt Romney also loses a lot of ground since the first update and his best finish is 3rd place in 5 states. Zero electoral votes.

Virgil Goode (Constitution Party) never made it out of last place in any state. Zero electoral votes.

Percentage in agreement

The most interesting thing of iSideWith is which candidate to voters agree with the most. The breakdown is:
Obama - 49.7% > Johnson - 49.1% > Stein - 45.5% > Paul - 43.3% > Romney - 37.5% > Goode - 24.1%. 


Johnson and Obama are within 2% of each other in 12 states -- in modern media posturing these would be the battleground states: Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, and Virginia. 


  1. These results are what I would expect if the Commission of Presidential Debate gate keepers were to let Johnson into the debates, but as of right now they have set an arbitrary 15% threshold which was instituted after Ross Perot almost upset the old two-party party system when he was included in the debates, when he was only polling at 7%. Due to Perot's appearances in the debates, Perot shot up to 38% in the polls. Johnson would very likely follow Perot’s trajectory if Johnson was included in the general election debates.
  2. When results are based on matching voters to candidates on issues you end up with minor parties winning some electoral votes, because there is no "wasted vote" syndrome to deal with. You might expect a similar sort of result with alternative voting methods such as Ranked Choice Voting or Approval Voting with fully informed voters.
  3. also shows you the breakdown of voters based on what site they came from (users from Facebook, DailyKos, DailyPaul. etc.). The more conservative sites are missing (i.e. FOX News, RedState, and WorldNetDaily), and older voters, who statistically have higher voter turn out and tend to run more conservative, are also least likely to use the Internet, so the results are definitely skewed, but they haven't changed all that much with the addition of 800,000 quiz participant results.
  4. The final question comes down to: Do we want a qualified candidates leading the country who nearly 50% of question respondents agree with or someone with less than 40% agreement?

Here is the spreadsheet with the calculations of the results based on’s data as of August 14, 2012, at approximately 6PM ET.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

4 Reasons Romney/Ryan Ticket Helps Obama; Benefits Gary Johnson

Paul Ryan is not exactly a “small government” conservative. And he surely isn’t an anti-war advocate. Not that anyone expected Mitt Romney to pick a Ron Paul-like VP choice, but Republicans may be underestimating their ability to win the votes of the libertarian-right and independent voters. Although Rand Paul is speaking at the convention and there is no sign that his father is going to leave the Republican party, the GOP should not be quick to associate the “tea party” with the vocal libertarians who brought many of Ron Paul’s ideas to the mainstream. Here are 4 reasons why the Romney/Ryan ticket helps Obama and benefits Gary Johnson.

1. Libertarian-leaning Republicans will not Support Ryan, because he Supported TARP and the Auto-bailouts.

For those who don’t remember, the tea party started in 2007 as a grassroots fundraising rally cry for Ron Paul; while Bush was still in office. The movement exploded after the first bailouts were passed by congress and Rick Santelli called for a Tea Party on MSNBC.

Why is this significant? Because, at the time, the GOP was trying to rally their base around John McCain. But, even with Sarah Palin, a favorite of the modern-day tea party, as his running mate, the Ron Paul tea partiers wanted nothing to do with the party nominee.

So this time around, expect a similar reaction from the small government, anti-bailout libertarians. Many of them consider the leadership of the current Democratic and Republican parties to be almost indistinguishable. Like they did with Ron Paul, they might just flock to Gary Johnson in hopes of giving him enough votes to affect the dialogue. And unlike Ron Paul, who is strongly pro-life and has ideas that are quite ‘extreme,’ Gary Johnson’s more temperate libertarianism may be attractive to many voters hesitant to jump onto the Ron Paul bandwagon.

2. Conservative Anti-War Advocates will Fear Paul Ryan because he is a Staunch Interventionist

As the wars continue, non-partisan voters are becoming increasingly disenchanted with our interventionist foreign policy. But, Paul Ryan is a staunch advocate for an agressive foreign policy. Further, his economic plan slashes the budget for diplomatic purposes.

Although the pro-war Bush-era policies of the Republican right may still be attractive to the GOP as a whole, Americans are increasingly weary of calls for war with countries like Iran and Syria. Anti-war advocates would rather promote a non-interventionist like Gary Johnson than support a VP who would cut domestic programs ahead of the defense budget.

3. Gary Johnson has More Experience and a Higher Approval Rating than Romney and Ryan

The two-term governor and successful business man has solid credentials as a conservative business-friendly leader. From Wikipedia:
According to one New Mexico paper, “[Governor] Johnson left [New Mexico] fiscally solid,” and was “arguably the most popular governor of the decade . . . leaving the state with a $1 billion budget surplus.” The Washington Times has reported that when Johnson left office, “the size of state government had been substantially reduced and New Mexico was enjoying a large budget surplus.” According to a profile of Johnson in the National Review, “During his tenure, he vetoed more bills than the other 49 governors combined — 750 in total, one third of which had been introduced by Republican legislators. Johnson also used his line-item-veto power thousands of times.”
Whether or not Johnson has a chance of making significant headway in the polls, his small-government record as a popular governor is undeniable. The GOP should not expect the small-government conservatives on the right to be satisfied with Romney’s more liberal record or his low approval rating as Governor of Massachusetts.

Adding Paul Ryan to the ticket may be of immediate benefit, but his lack of experience and his support of government intervention, domestically and abroad, do not bode well for the long-haul scrutiny.

4. Gary Johnson will Appeal to Independent Voters that are Tired of Partisanship

As polling, micro-targeting, and a divided media control the political debate, consultants now conduct campaigns by galvanizing their base, rather than persuading voters. But, voters are increasingly frustrated with the partisanship that defines the discourse. This sentiment is evidenced by the 40% of American voters now self-identified as non-partisan voters. Support it or not, Paul Ryan’s partisan budget does nothing to quell the extreme partisanship that pervades the political dialogue.

With a Google+ following of over 1 million, over 56,000 followers on twitter, over 200,000 followers on Facebook, and a reputation of appealing across party lines, Gary Johnson may just pull some critical votes away from Romney from all different directions.

Like the 1988 Libertarian presidencial candidate, Ron Paul, the support Johnson is likely to build will create a large enough base of supporters to give him a more powerful political voice in the future. And with voters becoming increasingly disenchanted with the parties, combined wit the ability of social media to galvanize movements rapidly, the future may come pretty quickly.

With the addition of Ryan to the Romney ticket, any voice Gary Johnson injects into the dialogue before election day could be a welcome one for Obama.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

PPP Colorado August Poll Has Gary Johnson At 6%

Nice to see that Gary Johnson is still holding steady in Colorado in the latest PPP Poll of the state.

Q. If the candidates for President this year were
Democrat Barack Obama, Republican Mitt
Romney, and Libertarian Gary Johnson, who
would you vote for?

Barack Obama.... 46%
Mitt Romney..... 42%
Gary Johnson..... 6%
Undecided........ 7%

What's even more encouraging is that the former New Mexico Governor's favorability rating is up 3 points from June while his unfavorability is down 3, with 79% of those polled still having no opinion of him.

Once the summer ends and people start to focus more on the election, look for Gov Johnson's numbers begin to rise in the Centennial State, especially given the popularity of the Colorado Marijuana Legalization Initiative, 61% in the latest poll, and Gary Johnson's pro-legalization position.

Let's hope it's a Rocky Mountain high for Gary Johnson on election night

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Gary Johnson Gets 19% In LASPAC Nationwide Poll

Fair is fair.

And don't forget the Gary Johnson Twitter Bomb tomorrow, 8/3.

We just conducted a nationwide telephone poll of registered voters. Here’s what the poll sounded like:

The results:
Barack Obama 56%
Gary Johnson 19%
Undecided/neither 25%

You may be thinking, “Why does that matter, since it doesn’t include the Republican?”

Here’s why it matters:

Gallup has been conducting presidential polls just like this:

Note the wording of their question:
“Suppose the presidential election were held today. If Barack Obama were the Democratic Party’s candidate and Mitt Romney were the Republican Party’s candidate, who would you vote for, Barack Obama, the Democrat or Mitt Romney, the Republican?”

It includes the incumbent, Obama, plus one selected challenger, Romney — and no one else.

Now here’s our question:
“Suppose the presidential election were held today. If Barack Obama were the Democratic Party’s candidate and Gary Johnson were the Libertarian Party’s candidate, who would you vote for, Barack Obama, the Democrat or Gary Johnson, the Libertarian?”

It’s exactly the same question, except we picked a different challenger.

The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) wants candidates to get at least 15% in nationwide polls. But most of those polls only include Obama and Romney. So, if those polls count, then our poll counts too.

We did this poll cheaply (but scientifically) using a less-known robocall firm. Now we want to do it again, on a bigger scale, using a well-known polling organization like Public Policy Polling, SurveyUSA, or Gallup. If we ask the question the same way (just like Gallup), Gary Johnson has a very good chance of getting more than 15%.

Let’s show that to the Commission on Presidential Debates! They can’t have it both ways — they can’t include biased polls that only name Obama and Romney, and then ignore polls like ours.

We’d love to push the CPD into a corner. If they have to accept polls like this, then Gary Johnson has a great chance of getting into the debates. At worst, they’ll have to start demanding that all their polling organizations include Gary Johnson — and that would be a good thing too.