Third party candidates have been traditionally seen as a protest at the American establishment. However, with the presidential election between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, this election is not traditional. Although Libertarian party presidential candidate Gary Johnson does not qualify for the national debates, he has gained a lot of attention in poll data, causing voters to think of voting for non traditional candidates. On September 13th, 2016, I went Purdue University to watch questions asked of Johnson, and to find what type of people are supporting him.
Johnson was a former Republican governor of New Mexico, in a Democratic Party controlled state. He became the Libertarian party presidential candidate in 2012, believing in being fiscally conservative and socially liberal. I first asked Michel Sateen, with a Johnson t-shirt on, who she was voting for.
“I voted Democrat in previous elections, and not fond of either Trump or Clinton,” Sateen answered. “In May, I read about Gary Johnson, and thought that is what I needed to vote for.”
When I ask what specially do you like about Johnson she mention her daughter is chronically ill.
“Me and my husband are working two full time jobs and are unable to afford the expenses. I like his stand on what he is going to do for health care.”
During the audience questioning, Kash Jackson asked about title 4D of social security act, which concerns child support enforcement. After Johnson answered, Jackson said he represented restoringfreedom2016.com, sponsored by the fathers’ rights movement. The group would give Johnson 250,000 votes for the election. I later went outside to talk to member of the group, Erick Cindermen, on who he was going to vote for.
“I am split between Johnson and Darrell Castle of the constitutional party,” Cindermen stated. “Johnson is the only presidential candidate to address our group.”
It was uneasy talking with people outside, because a man was shouting “Feel the Johnson bumper stickers for sale!” I spoke with students leaving the event about their opinion of Johnson. Most were college students or libertarians, who support him on wide range of issues. The ones I interviewed spoke in clichéd terms. I asked Denis McKinney, selling punching bags of political candidates, who he will be voting for.
“I will be voting on the lesser of two evils and I haven’t decided yet. You can see candidates are the highest unfavorable in recent history. That is why I develop these items and to poke some fun at the candidates. You think with 300 million people in America, we could develop better candidates.”
Featured image courtesy of Time.com.