- Pope Francis wins another ‘Person of the Year’ — from gay rights magazine
- Rep. Steve Stockman: Give my campaign $10, and you’ll get an Obama barf bag
- Putin: Russia to buy $15 billion in Ukraine bonds
- Expert: Obamacare ‘death spiral’ fears exaggerated
- Alabama firefighters dig for survivors of apartment blast
- Big Sur wildfire destroys home of firefighting chief
- ‘ ’Twas the Night Before Christmas’ set for mock trial to argue authorship
- Angela Merkel’s third term as Germany’s chancellor to be marked by move to left
- Mega Millions entices with record-setting jackpot: Half a billion so far
- Dennis Rodman heads to North Korea — despite execution, political purge
Libertarian Johnson aims to get on ballot in all states
Could be factor in swing states
TAMPA, Fla. — With Mitt Romney now the official Republican presidential nominee, Libertarian Party nominee Gary E. Johnson is trying to win over liberty lovers who backed Rep. Ron Paul during the GOP’s primary process, raising questions of whether either man could play the spoiler for Mr. Romney in a general election.
Mr. Johnson is fighting to get on the ballot in all 50 states, vowing to be the only third-party candidate to do so. While such candidates typically can attract just 1 percent or 2 percent of the vote, that could end up being the margin of victory in swing states such as Iowa, Colorado and North Carolina, where neither President Obama nor Mr. Romney has been able to develop a sustained, insurmountable lead.
Adding to Mr. Romney’s potential headaches in those states, many of Mr. Paul’s supporters in the primaries have said they will write in their hero on November’s ballot rather than vote for the Republican nominee.
“If people [who] like Paul feel slighted, they may go one way, or they may just sit it out,” said Carl Tobias, a professor at the University of Richmond School of Law. “I think it’s a natural reaction if you feel you’re shut out or slighted. ‘Why should they vote for Romney?’ It’s uncertain, but I think it’s something Republicans seem to be concerned about. Because they need every vote, right?”
Proof of the danger Mr. Johnson poses came this week in Iowa, where he said Mr. Romney’s campaign is making a concerted effort to keep him off the ballot in a state Mr. Obama carried in 2008 but where the GOP is bullish this year.
“It’s my understanding that in Iowa, there has never been a third-party challenge, ever, in the history of the state,” Mr. Johnson said Tuesday. “This is unprecedented, and it is absolutely driven by Romney. What’s there to fear? Our view of it at this point is great. In Iowa, I think we’re getting attention that we otherwise wouldn’t have gotten. So, thanks very much to the Romney campaign.”
Two Iowa voters have filed paperwork challenging Mr. Johnson’s candidacy, and Jay Kramer, who says he is the state’s Election Day operations director for Mr. Romney, reportedly signed it as a witness.
A Romney spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.
“I don’t know how I could have been received any better than what I received on Saturday,” Mr. Johnson said.
He noted that he’s had no coordination with the Paul campaign, and he seemed content for that to continue.
“I think we’ve pretty well put ourselves there, and I don’t think they have any desire to do that,” he said. “We’re certainly here.”
Elaine Smith of Oregon, a delegate to the Republican convention in 2008 and a Ron Paul supporter, is taking a defiant view of 2012.
“What’s going to happen is going to happen,” Ms. Smith said. “If your horse is determined to go over the cliff, like Mitt Romney is, then we should get on another horse.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
David Sherfinski covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at email@example.com.
- Virginia conservative offers solution to bureaucratic nightmare regarding concealed weapons
- House retirements creating pickup opportunities for Democrats and Republicans
- Senate confirms Obama pick Jeh Johnson as Homeland Security secretary
- 75 is the new old: VA DMV study recommends fitness tests for aging drivers
- GOP Rep. Tim Murphy rolls out mental health legislation
Latest Blog Entries
By John R. Bolton
The president fiddles at his domestic altar while the world burns
- PRUDEN: The scam that will not die
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
- Robert E. Lee and 'Stonewall' Jackson tributes face Army War College removal
- Wasted: Tom Coburn's 'Wastebook targets 70 days in bed, Facebook
- Embassy Row: India strikes back over diplomat's arrest
- Zadzooks: The Joker sixth scale figure review (Sideshow Collectibles)
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Colorado revolt: 55 of 62 sheriffs refuse to enforce new gun laws
- Army to cut up to 4,000 captains and majors
- U.S. downplays Saudi prince's criticism of Obama's Middle East policies
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Television commentary, reviews, news and nonstop DVR catch-up by Lisa King Dolloff and friends.
Wall Street news for retail investors who want to know what's going on.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow