In 1992, President George H.W. Bush was running for re-election against Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton. Dissatisfied with both political parties, Texas industrialist Ross Perot launched his campaign for president running as an Independent. In the final outcome, Clinton upset Bush and won the presidency.
However, many still claim that Bush would have won re-election had Perot not been in the race. When the vote count was over, Clinton beat Bush by 5,805,344 votes. Perot garnered 19,742,267 votes, the majority being white males which traditionally tend to vote more Republican than Democrat. Perot’s 18.9% of the vote was the largest of a third party candidate since Teddy Roosevelt ran a third party campaign in 1912.
In most of the current national polls, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are running within just a few percentage points of each other. The race at this point is too close for anyone to call.
Gary Johnson is running as the Libertarian candidate for president. He has not received nearly the press coverage that Ross Perot received twenty years ago so no one seems to be paying a lot of attention to him at this time.
However, Ron Paul, who has been running in the Republican race, has drawn a lot more attention than Johnson. Paul’s followers and supporters are discouraged with the Republican Party and its inaction over the past years and they don’t want to vote for Romney in November. Some have urged Paul to run as an Independent and he has talked about the possibility.
Johnson, who was a Republican and served two terms as Governor of New Mexico, says he is a fan of Ron Paul and is doing his best to sway as many Paul supporters to his campaign as possible. Speaking this past weekend, Johnson said:
“I want you all to know that I am a Dr. Paul fan.”
“Ron Paul asked me for my endorsement in 2008 and I readily gave him that endorsement. When I dropped out of the Republican primary, I asked everyone who was going to vote for me to vote for Ron Paul.”
“If I thought Ron Paul was going to get the nomination I would have not done this and I would have let him get the nomination. I would be along with you supporting Dr. Paul right now.”
“Be Libertarian with me one time.”
I’ve heard several people say that although they are Republicans and generally vote Republican, that they are voting for Johnson or writing in Ron Paul’s name come November. One told me that he would rather vote for noble candidate even though he knows it’s a lost cause, rather than supporting Romney.
I believe that both Ron Paul and Gary Johnson might be better candidates for president than Mitt Romney, but I also know that Barack Obama is the worst possible candidate. Rather than waste my vote for Johnson or writing in Paul’s name, I will cast my vote for Romney as he is the only one that has a chance to prevent Obama from being re-elected.
If the race between Romney and Obama remains as close as it is now come Election Day, and if Johnson is able to convince Paul supporters to cast their votes his way, he just might pull enough votes away from Romney to give Obama a second term. If that happens, then we can all point our fingers at them and say that it’s your fault America was destroyed, as Obama will destroy us if he wins in November.