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Libertarian Gary Johnson in Second Place in Poll for New Mexico Senate

Libertarian Gary Johnson in Second Place in Poll for New Mexico Senate

Johnson hasn’t even started campaigning.

Two-time former New Mexico governor and Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson joined the race for the New Mexico senate seat on August 15. Less than a week ago.

A new poll came out on Monday that shows Johnson in second place already at 21%, well ahead of the GOP candidate and gaining ground on the Democrat incumbent.

Emerson College conducted the poll between August 17-18 so it didn’t take long for citizens of New Mexico to embrace Johnson.

Incumbent Democrat Senator Martin Heinrich won with 39% and GOP candidate Mick Rich only polled at 11%. It gets better for Gary:

Republicans appear split, with 27% voting for Johnson and 25% for Rich. Independents are also split but among these voters Heinrich is at 32%, Johnson 25%, and Rich at 7%. Heinrich leads with Democrats getting 60% of their vote, with Rich at 3%, Johnson pulls 13% of Democrats.

Johnson hasn’t even started campaigning yet!

The Republicans control the senate by one seat. Only one. Johnson will be a Libertarian, but more than likely he will caucus with the GOP and vote with them on more issues than Heinrich.

With Johnson in the Senate, obviously more people will have exposure to us libertarians. You want to drain the swamp? Vote in more small-government minded people like Johnson and Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI).

Johnson’s win will make him the first Libertarian elected official in history. Aubrey Dunn, New Mexico’s Land Commissioner, became the first Libertarian statewide elected official. He actually ran for the New Mexico senate seat, but graciously step aside when polling showed Johnson pulling in decent numbers.

Matt Welch at Reason expanded more on this:

For the L.P., having a first elected federal official would be a watershed event, replacing overnight nearly five decades of conjecture with the concrete. Elected Libertarians such as Nebraska State Sen. Laura Ebke (a party-switcher) and Calimesa Mayor and Riverside County Board of Supervisors candidate Jeff Hewitt (technically a nonpartisan, though his affiliation is nobody’s secret) are already demonstrating that Libertarians as legislative swing voters can accomplish real policy victories on the state and local level. A federal Leviathan run by a mercantilist who is bringing back the bad old days of $1 trillion annual deficits is more than ripe for libertarian-flavored reform.

I blogged about Johnson’s entry last week not only because the announcement warmed my black Libertarian heart, but because I believed Johnson has a real chance because of his success as governor:

After he left in 2003, “the size of state government had been substantially reduced and New Mexico was enjoying a large surplus.” From The Washington Times:

As governor, Mr. Johnson maintains he worked overtime to do just that, issuing an astonishing 685 vetoes in his eight years in office – more than the combined total of vetoes by the nation’s other 49 governors in those same eight years.

“Any time someone approached him about legislation for some purpose, his first response always was to ask if government should be involved in that to begin with,” said former New Mexico Republican National Committee member Mickey Barnett.

In 2001, he told Reason his biggest accomplishments as governor, which includes roads:

Reason: What do you consider your major accomplishments as governor of New Mexico?

Johnson: Building 500 miles of four-lane highway in the state. We have reduced taxes by about $123 million annually. More significantly, before my taking office there was never a set of six years in the state of New Mexico where not a single tax had gone up. We reformed Medicaid and got Medicaid costs under control. We built a couple of new, private prisons in New Mexico. We had prisoners housed out of state, and the federal court system had been running prisons in New Mexico under a consent decree since 1980. We are now out from under that consent decree. We have approximately 1,200 fewer employees in state government today than we did when I took office.

Reason: What’s the thinking behind your road building programs? Traditionally those are often pork projects.

Johnson: Economic growth occurs only if you are connected with a four-lane highway. A lot of New Mexico is rural, and building 500 miles of four-lane highway is going to make a huge economic difference to all those communities. Basically, now we have connected every town in New Mexico with 30,000 people.

To save money, we looked at private alternatives in building the roads. The highway project on Highway 44, which is Albuquerque to Farmington, is designed, financed, built, and guaranteed by a private company. This is completely unique. We are actually the first state in the United States to adopt an innovative financing program for Highway 44, by bonding federal revenues. As a result, other states are copying it, and Wall Street is embracing it.


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casualobserver | August 21, 2018 at 10:40 am

I’m a lower case libertarian and have been since I saw GWB spend like a progressive. And I’ve learned that you have to take some oddities from cap Libertarians if they are to ever have an impact. Some are just too far out there for me. McAfee was one (forget his first name). Gary Johnson sometimes crosses the line, too, in being weird.

But in this modern era with Trump at times saying things and especially tweeting things that make me cringe here and there, but mostly doing the right things with his authority, I have a new found excitement about some Libertarians. It’s all in the hopes that we finally, one day, please, start to reduce the spending in DC. We are relaxing regs, but the spending passed BY THE GOP is eye opening.

    Tom Servo in reply to casualobserver. | August 21, 2018 at 11:36 am

    I used to think that the Libertarians had a chance to play a part in our national political scene, and liked quite a few of their ideas – and then they turned themselves into the Free Pot for All Party, and Open Borders to make it easy for everyone to have Free Pot.

    They’re done, except for a few little oddball races like this one. But I expect all Johnson will do in the end will be to guarantee that the Democrat wins.

      casualobserver in reply to Tom Servo. | August 21, 2018 at 2:27 pm

      I’m not sure you are really following lower case libertarians that closely. They are not for open borders in the way progressives and the hard left is. They want open COMMERCE, with some fully accountable and traceable system that allows guest workers in and out, etc. The left simply wants obedient voters. Most libertarians want border control. Many simply think a physical wall is the least efficient expense. It’s debatable, but to lump them in with Dem Socialists on the view of the border is not accurate.

WTF is wrong with New Mexico?

    Tom Servo in reply to BillyHW. | August 21, 2018 at 11:31 am

    Everything makes a lot more sense if you realize the word “New” is mostly aspirational.

    Perhaps they are tired of Republican Socialism.

    Socialism = expanding the coercive sector of the economy

    Republican Socialism. Price supports for criminals and terrorists. (the Drug War)

    Republican socialism in general is quite akin to Democrat socialism. They both start with “Government should…”

    The idea that we need laws to solve every social problem is socialist.

First, I take polls with a grain of salt. President Hilary Clinton agrees with me.

Second, I suspect these results, to the extent they have any validity at all, primarily reflect the voters’ dissatisfaction with the candidates, not necessarily their true intentions.

Morning Sunshine | August 21, 2018 at 11:20 am

I voted for him for president twice – when the choices were Obama or Mccain, and Obama or Romney. More of a protest vote, since Utah’s EC votes would go to the RINO on the ballot. I was glad to see that the third party was getting serious consideration in 2016, but I think Johnson fumbled what could have been for him, a golden opportunity. He messed up on the national stage so many times, I almost thought he was TRYING to throw the election.
There was enough crazy in Utah in 2016 that I voted for Trump, as McMullin was getting a lot of traction here, and I wanted to make sure he didn’t throw us into a Constitutional Crisis.

Yes, my voting is based on strategy, not who I think will do a better job. that is life in these United States these days.

ps – I will be voting 3rd party for my senate race as well – Romney will win, but I will not help him.

Unfortunately Johnson isn’t really a libertarian. I had an opportunity to hear him and speak with him back in 2011 when he was thinking of contesting the GOP presidential nomination, and he came across as glib, someone who’d memorized a few libertarian positions but did not understand or believe in the principles behind them. He also seemed not only uninformed about defense, but as if he’d never given the topic much thought.

Johnson’s win will make him the first Libertarian elected official in history.

You left out “federal”. There have, of course, been several LP candidates elected to state and local office over the years.

Escaped from RI | August 21, 2018 at 11:43 am

I couldn’t bring myself to vote for him for President because of his running mate, Weld.
From the Boston Globe, October 1 1993- “Mr. Weld, a Republican who will run for re-election next year, called for a statewide ban on assault weapons — a proposal he opposed during his 1990 campaign — as well as a waiting period for buying handguns and a prohibition on handgun ownership by anyone under 21. His proposed legislation would also limit the number of handguns an individual could buy.”

Johnson on the other hand seems to be an actual no kidding Libertarian. He just needs to run on the platform of keeping the Republicans out of your bedroom and Democrats out of your wallet. Though frankly Republicans and Democrats are indistinguishable now in terms of individual liberty (against) and government spending (for).

Even a Kangaroo would be better than a democrat.

He came out for Hillary right before the election. He would be with the democrats. He is not a true libertarian.

buckeyeminuteman | August 21, 2018 at 1:20 pm

Libertarians sound good on paper, then they open their mouths. Then again Republicans sound good when they open their mouths, but then they open their checkbooks…

All he is going to do is split the conservative vote and the Dem will win. Remember Ross Perot? The last thing the Senate needs to do is let the Dems get another seat. No way I could support Johnson when the Senate is so close.

    It’s already a Dem seat, and the Rep doesn’t look like he’s got any chance of taking it. If Johnson takes it there’ll be one seat fewer in the D caucus, which must be a good thing.

I left the GOP over Omnibus (other reasons, but that was the last straw). One lost drivers license later, and an afternoon at the DMV, when they asked for party affiliation I switched to Independent.

And I think I’m slowly becoming a lowercase libertarian.

But I was very disappointed with the Libertarian Party last election. That was their moment (before we knew Trump was more than just hype). They ran a candidate who didn’t believe in Religious Liberty (Sisters of the Poor). Liberty, Libertarian… hmm… something similar there?

I like the party to a backup Quarterback. He skips Spring Training, he doesn’t put in any work in the off season, hangs in the locker room during the game. And it’s now 4th Quarter, we’re down by 3 with 2 mins left. Cruz has just been knocked out of the game. He gets the call. This is his moment, the opportunity he’s been waiting for his whole life. And what does he do?

He fumbles the snap to the other team.

They have a lot of work to do before I can ever take them seriously again. It’s frustrating too.

I remember watching some of his earlier speaking events and they left me disappointed. Most people today equate libertarianism with free pot. They made such fools of themselves over that they ignored all the other issues that face us. National defense is one area that Johnson didn’t seem to know or care about. Wow! With China’s hegemony and Russia’s malevolent attitude that just may be our number one issue of today.

    Libertarians were such fools about pot. About 68% of Americans (and still rising) now support legalization. That includes 57% of Republicans.

    Even if you whack off 10% for poll bias the numbers are substantial.


    If only Republicans were that smart.

    Drug Prohibition is socialism for criminals. Says Milton Friedman. (Back around ’72 in fact – Republicans are slow learners)

He was Governor of New Mexico for 8 years, and by all accounts was very successful.

If you want to know what his actual positions are, just look at his actual track record from when he was Governor.

Actions speak louder than words.

You could also look up his positions online – see his statements, and actions taken, on each.

If you want to be completely misinformed, just read that imbecile Milhouse’s opinion of him instead.