U.S. News: The year of the Libertarian

ImageFrom U.S. News & World Report online on June 10:

“Earlier this year ABC News found that nearly 40 percent of likely GOP voters said they would be willing to consider a third-party candidate. One appealing third-party option has already emerged — Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson. A former two-term governor of New Mexico, Johnson governed as a fiscally conservative, socially progressive Republican. He backed school choice and lowered taxes. He supports gay marriage and wants drugs to be legalized.

“These views are in keeping with the Libertarian Party’s philosophy — which holds that government should generally leave people alone — and are increasingly popular with voters. ‘One in five Americans consider themselves libertarian, with younger adults being the most likely to adopt the label,’ Reuters found last year….

“Despite the best intentions of the American founders to design a system immune to factionalism, the structure of American government favors the existence of just two dominant political parties. Since U.S. elections are winner-take-all, voters are incentivized to coalesce around the candidates they view as the least bad rather than cast votes for long-shot candidates who may better represent their views. Vote for the lesser of two evils, the theory goes.

“But the Democrats and Republicans may have pushed it too far this time. People may not be willing to hold their noses and vote for Trump or Clinton. In that case, third-party candidates like Gary Johnson may be in for a banner year.”

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