Libertarian Gary Johnson is clocking in at 16% in Colorado

Gage Skidmore


Libertarian Gary Johnson is drawing a whopping 16 percent in support from Colorado voters — higher than in other battleground states like Iowa and Virginia, according to new polling from Quinnipiac University.

Johnson is a former Republican governor of New Mexico who is running with William Weld, a former Republican governor of Massachusetts.

For comparison, Johnson is earning 12 percent support in Iowa and 11 percent in Virginia, according to the Quinnipiac poll.

Johnson and Weld are making civil liberties, criminal justice reform, internet freedom, and the War on Drugs a focus of their campaign.

There are about 35,000 registered Libertarian voters in Colorado, the state where the Libertarian Party was formed in the early 1970s.

But Lilly Tang Williams, the Libertarian Party’s nominee for U.S. Senate in Colorado who supports Johnson, points out that the largest voting block in the state, more than 1.3 million voters, are unaffiliated with a political party.

“I think they are really open to a third viable option right now,” she told The Colorado Independent. “I’m hoping that I can ride the wave of Gary Johnson’s ticket and ask people to give me a chance, to check me out.”

With this year’s presidential matchup between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, plenty of voters, particularly millennials, have been telling reporters covering the race that they are dissatisfied with the choices.

The election, a 31-year-old mother of two from Fort Collins, recently told The Washington Post, “feels like a joke.”

Meanwhile, Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for president, is registering at 7 percent of support in Colorado, according to the Q poll.

Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Q poll, says while Johnson is above 15 percent in Colorado, the big question is whether he can crack that threshold nationally and get into that debates, which will make or break his candidacy.

As for why he might be polling so high in Colorado, Brown says, “It probably has more to do with the fact that Mr. Trump is not running well as Republicans normally run. That’s probably helping Mr. Johnson. It may say as much about Mr. Trump as Mr. Johnson.”

Colorado, it should be noted, is a state where marijuana is legal, and Johnson has ties to a marijuana company and has been involved in legalization efforts. He has an A+ rating from the Marijuana Policy Project, a pro-legalization group. Clinton and Trump have B+ and C+ ratings respectively.

“I bet if you and I were to stroll through a suburban shopping mall in Lorain, Ohio or Brandon, Florida or Valley Fords, Pennsylvania— i.e. states that are big deal states, that are up for grabs to some degree— my guess is most voters don’t have a clue what Mr. Johnson is for or against,” Brown told The Independent. “It may be true that those who favor legal marijuana are aware of it, but Joe and Jill six pack I’m guessing… we haven’t polled on this… around the country are not aware of that. And then the question is would it help or hurt his candidacy.”

In Colorado, Williams, the Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate, hopes more news coverage of third party candidates this year will grab the general public’s attention.

“The media should take leadership this year for [covering] third party candidates,” Williams says. “This year people are fed up on both sides.”

Quinnipiac University surveyed 830 likely Colorado voters from Aug. 9 to Aug. 16 with live interviewer calls to landlines and cell phones. The results have a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons on Flickr.


  1. Libertarianism…Is as failed an ideology as is Trickle Down Economics…Johnson is leaching Trump voters who are not racist…bigots…or neo nazi, John Birchers, oh wait the Birchers ARE the Koch Party…still, This Nation cannot abide by, nor can this nation even begin to be Libertarian…NOT POSSIBLE…Not acceptable…Not logical…Not ever…

  2. Both Johnson and Weld are Republicans who moved to Libertarians in order to run. Be aware: Johnson is a climate change skeptic and wants to cutail any governmental efforts; abolish the Dept. of Education and promote charter schools; he plans to balance the federal budget, although he doesn’t say how he would reduce it by the necessary 43%; he wants to abolish the IRS and move to a consumption tax, which punishes the poor; and he wants a free-market health care system, which is worse than before Obamacare- no word how Johnson plans to have the 11+ million new insured stay covered.

    Perhaps Colorado media should cover the Johnson-Weld platform…

  3. Democrats and Republicans have failed the citizens of the USA. Look at the deficit, the taxes, the government trying to get citizens in jail for victim less crimes , the government exclusion of certain peoples. Libertarianism hasn’t been in office EVER! The R & Ls have got us to were we are today. It s time for a bloodless revolution and vote FOR FREEDOM and INDEPENDENCE! Vote for Johnson Weld 2016!!

  4. I have read Johnson-Weld’s platform: Johnson is a climate change skeptic, and wants to limit government involvement to the EPA and the environment. Johnson wants to move to a consumption tax (this hurts the poor the most) and abolish the IRS. He also plans to balance the budget, but he doesn’t explain how he will cut the budget by 43%. And he wants to repeal Obamacare and move back to a free market for health care. Plus no regulations on guns-

    They do have positive ideas on prison reform, deregulation of marijuana- but Johnson wants to abolish the Department of Education and promote free choice and charters.

    Study each candidates’ platform before you vote-

  5. I’m betting there wasn’t a “none of the above” option, which would suck voter participation rates down and particularly limit the appeal of Libertarian and Green candidates.

    With high levels of discontent with the major party candidates, Johnson and Stein will do better than 2012. That year, Johnson got 1.3% and Stein got 0.3%. Triple their results and they’d have almost 5%.

  6. Libertarianism failed?

    Hah! It never was given that much of a chance fool.

    What has failed?

    Government and society being confused for one another has failed, government is not society (socialism).

    Religion and society mixing is ANOTHER failure, that our forfathers knew about. What too bad is they didnt stop the last failure::

    Governemtn and economics mixing is a massive failure.

    Libertarianism simply asks that government and those who govern not be allowed to confuse government for SOCIETY, for RELIGION or ECONOMICS.

    So. Wake up you tools ans stop being pawns for those in power that love to mix those things above that never should be.

    Vote Johnson and Weld!

  7. Hey RyRy:

    What’s the difference between the current day Libertarians and the politicians of the Gilded Age, especially the Roaring Nineties and the conservative side of the early Progressive Era? Seems to me the Federal Government and most of the states are pretty close to a libertarian ideal.

  8. I look forward to voting for Libertarian Governors Gary Johnson and William Weld for President and Vice President. They are clearly the better choice: experienced, reasonable, believers in the US Constitution and honest.

  9. Actually @C.Steeples, obamacare has need health care the most expensive it’s ever been and still Rising. What Johnson intends to do which is abolish it will create a market how many more insurance companies nearby increasing supply and demand and in the process the lowering of costs to be competitive. It’s pretty basic.

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