Gary Johnson removed from Oklahoma ballot

Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party nominee for President has been removed from the ballot in the state of Oklahoma even after successfully getting on it through the efforts of Americans Elect.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Thursday (September 13) denied a temporary injunction the Americans Elect party sought to regain a ballot line for Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson and his running mate, James P. Gray.

The court upheld a state Election Board decision removing Johnson and Gray from the ballot.
Oklahoma is known for having very difficult ballot access laws, and this serves as a blow to the Johnson campaign, who up until now was confident that they would appear on all 50 states.

Read more information about the battle for ballot access in Oklahoma: All or nothing: Every state but Oklahoma has Libertarians on the ballot

138 thoughts on “Gary Johnson removed from Oklahoma ballot

  1. Jared King

    Is this not an election for a federal office? Why not have a federal ballot? Maybe I’m alone, but I know my leftie friends here in North Carolina who are told a write in for Jill Stein won’t count because they live on this particular stretch of land called NC. Insanity.

  2. George Whitfield

    Remember that RJ Harris is on the ballot for Congress in Oklahoma. He supports Gary Johnson and Gary endorsed him.

  3. Stuart Simms

    LG nicely stated.

    Please click on the Ballot Access News link, our friend Richard Winger needs our help.

  4. Q2Q

    I knew this would happen. And soon, he will be kicked off the Michigan ballot as well. Johnson is a joke who didn’t plan and now for the 3rd straight election the LP isn’t on the ballot in OK. We need someone like the late Harry Browne, who put in the time and effort to get on the ballot in OK.

  5. DSZ

    Between dropping out of the Republican race and declaring for the LP, GJ had about 2-3 months to help the LP get on the ballot in OK, and at that point he wasn’t even the nominee.

  6. Colleen McCool

    So Oakies once again live up to their reputation for ignorance. We can educate them. Obama and Romney have forsaken the American Dream. A declaration is an affirmation. Independence means self-government. They could have called The Declaration of Independence, The Affirmation of Self-Government!

    Gary Johnson and Judge Jim Gray are the only choice to Save the American Dream: Self-Government, freedom from big government tyranny and oppression…. and to Restore Justice, the guardian of Liberty!

  7. Oranje Mike

    After 2000 the Democrats convinced many liberals never to vote third party again. Now the GOP is using and tactic to deny ballot access to qualified candidates.

    Both instances are proof that third parties matter because The Big Two are running scared.

  8. Michael H. Wilson

    Someday someone will decide that we need to conduct a pr campaign with billboards, etc and bury the legislature with complaints from the people.

  9. FSBlue

    @13

    If I remember correctly, you need 40,000 petitions to get on the ballot in Oklahoma. The LP got approximately 52,000 of which enough were disqualified that the final total was under 40,000. American’s Elect turned in over 90,000 to give them more than enough cushion to not worry about signatures being disqualified.

  10. NewFederalist

    “Please click on the Ballot Access News link, our friend Richard Winger needs our help.”

    Why? What’s wrong with Richard?

  11. paulie

    The issue here could have been avoided by paying for somewhat more signatures.

    The LP didn’t have enough money, plus foolishly turned away good petitioners early on who were next door in Arkansas. Americans Elect got enough signatures. When the LP had to quit paying people they were not able to get people back into OK or back into putting LP on their boards when they got more money. People went on to other states or other jobs and they were unable to ramp it up again in time.

    The existing court precedents all indicated that state parties, rather than national parties, control ballot lines. Americans Elect should have been able to have Johnson on the OK ballot regardless of the national party’s opinion. The court’s ruling here is against precedent and logic, but unfortunately any appeals at the federal level will almost certainly (as in 99.99%) come too late.

  12. paulie

    Between dropping out of the Republican race and declaring for the LP, GJ had about 2-3 months to help the LP get on the ballot in OK, and at that point he wasn’t even the nominee.

    His campaign had very little money then.

  13. George Phillies

    @17 The LNC didn’t have enough money? Palie do you think that line could be related to the line in the December 2011 minutes “Treasurer Redpath moved to amend line 70-BallotAccess Petitioning Related Exp of the budget proposal by reducing it from $279,000 to $225,000. The motion was adopted without objection.” or possibly the motions that handed $30,000+ over to the LSLA for some months, until it was finally returned?

    The LNC seemed to have a reserve fund, with depending on month what appears to have been at least $40,000 in it.

  14. Q2Q

    “His campaign had very little money then.”

    Gary Johnson could’ve used his own money out of his own pocket. If he’s going to use his self-made success story as part of his campaign shtick, then he should put his money were his mouth his. He could’ve chipped in and helped the LP get on the ballot. Hell, I’m pretty sure Browne did that when he ran in 1996/2000. As far as I can tell, Johnson has put very little of his own cash into his campaign. Hell, Carl Person put more money into his own campaign then Johnson. It’s Johnson’s fault he’s not on the ballot, and if he’s not willing to spend some of his own cash then he doesn’t deserve ballot access.

  15. Q2Q

    How is it disembodied? Johnson is wealthy. Johnson was the presumptive nominee (unless you actually think anyone else has a fair shot at the nomination). So, he could’ve spent some of his own money on ballot access. He could’ve put $10-20 thousand (not a large sum for a millionaire) of his own cash in OK for ballot access purposes. Instead, he didn’t, and he ultimately relied on a group outside the LP. So, how is this not his fault?

  16. paulie

    The Oklahoma ballot access effort was most funded by Kohlhaas using his pilfered national list (after being referred to the state party by Bill Redpath). There may have been some money from LPHQ towards the end (I’m not even sure of that, but I think there was), but only a relatively minor portion. The last LNC was not eager to fund 50 state ballot access, they were of the mindset that states should mostly fend for themselves (completely mistaken IMO) or even that 50-state ballot access should not be a goal at all and that we should concentrate on building the party in states where we already have ballot access or where ballot access is easy or can be done by the state party on their own. Some of the LNC still hold these views, so I expect the next round to have these same arguments.

    For whatever disagreements we have, Bill Redpath has been the one pushing as much as he can get for ballot access from the committee, so if he asked to have the amount reduced it must have been to keep even more money from being taken away by someone else introducing a proposal instead. In other words it was probably a compromise measure.

    The LNC is not eager to spend money on ballot access until we are in last minute crisis mode, so we end up spending more and failing in some states, rather than treating 50 state ballot access (plus DC etc) as an imperative for the entire 4 year cycle and knocking as many states out as possible early on.

    Furthermore, the party gains nothing by having Kohlhaas raise money “independently” (not having it go through LPHQ). The only lists he has were ones he took without permission from the national party (he was authorized to use them once and just kept them without authorization). He takes a 40% commission and has no names that the HQ does not already have. A higher percentage of the money could go towards its intended purpose if LP interns and volunteers made the calls, if we hired staff to do it, or if commission fundraising was competitively bid and one-time-use restrictions on the lists were actively enforced.

    Gary Johnson is already working full time and then some on his campaign for no pay for a year. It isn’t reasonable that he should also have to break his nest egg on top of that. At that time, his campaign was not well aware of all the problems with LPHQ/LNC and they believed that we were capable of getting 50 states with little or no help from them. It is not true that Harry Browne used his personal money on the campaigns; he actually made $100,000 a year or more (indirectly) off the campaigns, and contributed only his time, which was considerable – like Johnson, he kept a schedule that few people could keep up with.

  17. paulie

    unless you actually think anyone else has a fair shot at the nomination

    Many people thought that it was competitive, although it did seem pretty lopsided in all the available polls. There was also talk of Ron Paul or Jesse Ventura coming in at the last minute. No one knew for sure until the convention.

  18. Nick Kruse

    “It is not true that Harry Browne used his personal money on the campaigns; he actually made $100,000 a year or more (indirectly) off the campaigns.”

    Just out of curiosity, how do you make money by running for office?

  19. Q2Q

    So, Harry Browne contributed his time and effort on his two Presidential campaign, and still got on the ballot in 50 states and made $100000. Gee, Johnson must either be a slacker or oblivious.

  20. Al

    What is the expression?

    To defend freedom, use the soap box, the ballot box, and the ammo box. In that order.

    Someone in Oklahoma needs to reconsider this decision.

  21. paulie

    So, Harry Browne contributed his time and effort on his two Presidential campaign, and still got on the ballot in 50 states and made $100000. Gee, Johnson must either be a slacker or oblivious.

    What does that have to do with Johnson? National LP had several times as much money and members. State parties had more money and members as well. Browne ran for six years and raised several million through his campaign. Her had a two year run for his first election (started running in ’94) and a more or less continuous run through 2000.

    Johnson has only been running in the LP for a few months and the LP has much less of an active support base now than Browne started with. If he runs a continuous LP campaign for the next four years as I would like to see him do I think we will be back to 2000 levels and then some.

    He is in no way a slacker.

  22. George Dance

    Here’s a piece of the puzzle I haven’t seen mentioned here, so I thought I’d add it. According to Richard Winger, the state Attorney-General issued a report August 17 recommending that Johnson be removed from the ballot. However, he not only kept that report secret for two weeks, but also told Richard Linger that his office “gave no credence” to the national Americans Elect request that the party be removed from the ballot. Based on that false information, Linger agreed on Aug. 20 to postpone the Libertarian Party’s own ballot access lawsuit until after the election.

    http://www.ballot-access.org/2012/08/29/oklahoma-attorney-general-ruled-on-august-17-that-americans-elect-may-not-place-a-presidential-candidate-on-the-ballot-but-kept-the-opinion-a-secret-and-tricked-libertarians-into-postponing-the-ball/

  23. From Der Sidelines

    @33 I believe that was mentioned here on the August Open Thread IIRC. However, it only illustrates that the OK AG is a two-faced scum-sucking POS that needs to be tarred, feathered, and thrown under a bus on I-44.

  24. mbelleville

    Johnson didn’t have any legitmate standing to use the American Elect ballot line. Hell he didn’t even run in the AE primary. It was always a reach and a gimmick to take over that ballot access (access that Johnson didn’t work for) so as much as I am disgusted with AE, they were well within their rights to block him.

    Now Michigan, that is another story. GOP and Romney are playing dirty. But that is not surprising

  25. Q2Q

    @ 33,

    It’s not the AG’s fault, it’s the LP’s fault for assuming the government was going to play fair.

  26. Joe Buchman

    mbelleville @ 37,

    The state AE party had a convention, elected electors and went through the proper paperwork just as any legitimate state party would. What the national party did, or did not do, should not have mattered.

    If it did — if that was the consistent rule — the Oregon, for one example, would be subject to the national party’s rule as well.

    It’s clear there’s no Principle here — just major party machinations to eliminate the competition.

    That said, there should have been more money for more Libertarian signatures earlier. To come that close, to spend that much, without going the last couple of miles to close the deal was a terrible waste.

    As for other comments about Governor Johnson, there was no guarantee from late December through the convention that he would be the nominee. Even Gary stated publicly that he would support Ron Paul if Ron wanted the LP nomination (probably as a VP candidate with him). We are in this to win it — and the it is not personal — it is a restoration of lost Liberty and more.

  27. Andy

    “It is not true that Harry Browne used his personal money on the campaigns; he actually made $100,000 a year or more (indirectly) off the campaigns, and contributed only his time, which was considerable – like Johnson, he kept a schedule that few people could keep up with.”

    I remember hearing that Harry Browne put up $20,000 out of his own pocket on one or two campaigns, but even so, if he did put up this money he would have earned it back with book sales (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

  28. Andy

    “The LP didn’t have enough money, plus foolishly turned away good petitioners early on who were next door in Arkansas.”

    First off, the party did have more money that could have been spent on ballot access in Oklahoma, it was just allocated toward other things.

    Second of all, the pay could have been increased for petition circulators in Oklahoma without the party even spending one penny more, and that was by not putting any mercenary in the position of “petition coordinator” where they could take overrides off of petition circulators (as in they pocket a cut of the money on each signature collected by people working under them). Members of the LP of Oklahoma could have taken turn ins from petition circulators and every petition circulator in Oklahoma could have gotten paid a higher pay rate by cutting out the middlemen. This would have motivated these petition circulators to work on the petition more since they could have earned more money, and therefore more signatures would have been collected.

  29. Andy

    I offered to go into Oklahoma to work on the LP petition on more than one occasion and I never got a call back. Jf myself and perhaps one or two other experienced Libertarian petition circulators had gone into Oklahoma for a few weeks it would have easily been the difference maker and the Libertarian Party would have ballot access in Oklahoma right now.

    Incidentally, when the Libertarian Party of Oklahoma started getting desperate during the last 2 or 3 weeks of that petition drive I know that they called several experienced petitioners around the country to try to get them to come in and I know that several of them turned them down because by that point in time there were higher paying projects going on in other states (this is a situation that I had warned about several months prior to this, yet my warning was ignored).

  30. Raymond Agnew

    This can still be apealed up to Federal District Court! Just Do It There Is Nothing to lose & everything to be gained!!!

  31. Brian Miller

    The solution to this is very simple.

    Gary should make the “wasted vote” syndrome into a Republican nightmare.

    In every state where Republicans worked to eliminate Libertarians from the ballot, the LP and its campaign apparatus in that state should encourage all Libertarian supporters to vote for Obama. It should campaign for Obama in state and run advertising for Obama.

    After losing every swing state to the Democrats, perhaps the Republicans will reconsider their dirty tricks in the future.

    (And yes, if the Democrats were behind similar tactics, I’d urge the LPs in those states to endorse and campaign for Romney — in fact, the Greens should have reacted similarly in Pennsylvania when Nader and other Greens were bullied off the ballot).

  32. fred

    Q2Q–
    It isn’t useful to bash Johnson for not using the same techniques as Brown. Many of us appreciate Brown, but lets face it. The man is dead and we must move on.
    Johnson is doing some important things, and he has some advantageous as a candidate (namely experience as governor) that Brown did not.
    He isn’t going to do everything the same.
    This is no time to attack our own, because they don’t use the strategies you liked best.

  33. ATBAFT

    Somewhere in that f…ing state there will be a vulnerable Republican candidate some day.
    Keeping GJ off the ballot is an embarrassment to Okla. Let’s identify that future race, and pour money into the state to defeat some GOP s.o.b. as a lesson to others.

  34. Oranje Mike

    #48, I thin the GOP might destroy themselves in the coming years. Tactics like this will turn people away. Look at what the GOP did in Iowa, Maine and Tampa. They told thousands upon thousands of youngsters to f#@k off. The GOP destroyed the future of the party and people will tire of this crap and the Democrats. I think things like this could benefit the LP in the long run.

    Too optimistic on my part?

  35. Robert Capozzi

    49 Mike, my sense is Yes, too optimistic. Few pay attention to that sort of inside baseball, near as I can tell.

    GOP is more likely to fracture when the corporates become too embarrassed by the excesses of the social cons. The wacko factor is becoming a real problem for them as it stands.

  36. Ryan C

    Are there any third party candidates on the ballot, or are Oklahomans left with only one choice: Obamney?

  37. Q2Q

    fred-

    I attacked a candidate that said he will have 50 state access, and failed because he didn’t put in the effort. He maybe a former Governor and has done important things, but he promised 50 state ballot access and he failed. Harry Browne may not have been as credible or adventurous as Johnson, but damnit he got on the ballot in 50 states twice. Johnson has failed.

  38. Andy

    “paulie // Sep 17, 2012 at 10:06 am

    The latter.

    There’s no good reason to vote in Oklahoma.”

    Voters in Oklahoma should just turn in blank ballot in protest of Oklahoma’s draconian ballot access laws.

  39. Brian Miller

    It’s ironic to see “libertarians” criticizing the libertarian candidate for not being sufficiently willing to complete forms in triplicate and tirelessly labor through the latest machinations of the bureaucracy.

  40. Andy

    “Brian Miller // Sep 17, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    It’s ironic to see ‘libertarians’ criticizing the libertarian candidate for not being sufficiently willing to complete forms in triplicate and tirelessly labor through the latest machinations of the bureaucracy.”

    Well, if a libertarian wants to pursue the strategy of engaging in electoral politics, then this is one of the things that one must do to be included on the ballot.

  41. Kevin Knedler

    Orange Mike # 49

    Bingo, you hit the nail on the head.
    I have been saying same thing.

    GOP winning some battles but will ultimately lose the war.

  42. ATBAFT

    #49 and #61, one may hope but I spoke to the head of one of Ron Paul’s largest college groups and he’s enthusiastically backing Romney because that will show RP’s people will play ball and the young folks will be allowed to hang around and one day run the whole shebang.
    Ah the delusions of youth!

  43. JT

    Harry Browne received zero in royalties from his books. Nothing. And they were made free to the LP for outreach purposes.

    And I highly doubt that he received $100,000 in speakers fees either. He wasn’t getting a lot of paid appearances from having been the former Libertarian candidate for President.

  44. NewFederalist

    @56… Browne was NOT on all 50 states and DC in 2000. The Arizona LP nominated another ticket. If you are going to slam folks at least get your facts right.

  45. paulie

    Well, if a libertarian wants to pursue the strategy of engaging in electoral politics, then this is one of the things that one must do to be included on the ballot.

    All the legal precedents say sore loser laws do not apply to presidential candidates.

    I’ve also been told that the SOS office intentionally did not process Johnson’s form withdrawing from the primary, which he only belatedly learned they were going to include him in against his wishes, on time. They received it in time and sat on it, on purpose, to have it be after the deadline.

    They also came up with ridiculous reasons why they are not including the other Gary Johnson on the ballot either.

    These reasons contradict their own logic and all established precedent as well.

    So, they are not playing by the rules, they are twisting them to achieve their desired outcome.

    There is no way to comply with that no matter what you do.

    All for what? Romney is not even running ads in Michigan anymore.

  46. paulie

    I attacked a candidate that said he will have 50 state access, and failed because he didn’t put in the effort. He maybe a former Governor and has done important things, but he promised 50 state ballot access and he failed. Harry Browne may not have been as credible or adventurous as Johnson, but damnit he got on the ballot in 50 states twice. Johnson has failed.

    Neither Browne nor Johnson had much to do with that. It had to do with the national LP (LNC/LPHQ) and state parties for the most part in both cases.

  47. Be Rational

    When dealing with state bureaucracy and government offices – never trust them.

    Deliver documents in person whenever possible, always arrive early, with witneses, and get everything time stamped, signed and witnessed. If they make any representations or promises, they must be in writing, dated and witnessed.

    … and then, you still can’t trust them …

    so, be ready with a good lawyer.

  48. ATBAFT

    #66-one of largest in Penna. I should say.
    It is West Chester University. The chair is now working for Americans for Prosperity and they are enthusiastically turning out volunteers for Romney.

  49. Be Rational

    Working for Romney is such a waste of time … He is likely to finish under 200 Electoral votes. His chances of winning at this point are less than those of Gary Johnson.

    There is no way for Romney to overcome his negatives, but Johnson has few negatives, he could win with money to overcome being unknown.

  50. NewFederalist

    @ 71… what a shame. Romney has no shot in PA. Even if he did why would Paulistas care? I guess sheeple come in all age groups.

  51. Be Rational

    It doesn’t take long for some Paulistas to return to the flock to be shorn.

    Sing it: (tune: John Brown’s body)

    “Ron Paul’s people are the sheeple once again …
    Ron Paul’s people are the sheeple once again …
    Ron Paul’s people are the sheeple once again …
    … lining up to lick Romney’s shoes.”

  52. paulie

    When dealing with state bureaucracy and government offices – never trust them.

    Deliver documents in person whenever possible, always arrive early, with witneses, and get everything time stamped, signed and witnessed. If they make any representations or promises, they must be in writing, dated and witnessed.

    … and then, you still can’t trust them …

    so, be ready with a good lawyer.

    Good advice, but the resources are not always available in the right time and place.

  53. Gene Berkman

    Regarding Ron Paul supporters who are backing Romney:
    The Paul campaign derived its initial support in 2008 from Libertarian Party members, Constitution Party members, Birchers and members of Republican Liberty Caucus.

    After Paul’s confrontation with Giuliani over 9/11 as a result of U.S. foreign policy, alot of left-liberals and other independents decided they liked Ron Paul.

    In 2012, his campaign was much more oriented toward recruiting support from conservatives in the Republican Party.

    Paul supporters from the LP and RLC will tend to vote for Gary Johnson, while other Republican supporters of Ron Paul include many who are still loyal Republicans, as well as those who are most likely to see Obama as a bigger statist than Mitt Romney.

  54. JT

    Be Rational: “His chances of winning at this point are less than those of Gary Johnson.”

    I’m no fan of Romney, but less than Johnson?? Be rational, Be Rational.

  55. paulie

    Paul supporters are once again all over the place.

    I’ve seen people who say they will write in, some who will support Johnson, some who will support Romney, some who will support Obama, some that will support Virgil Goode.

    None yet that I have seen say they will vote for Stein but give it time.

  56. Be Rational

    @77 It is rational to say that Romney’s chances are less than Johnson’s chances.

    Romney is at a barrier. His own negatives. He cannot move significantly higher in the polls. He cannot win the election by any combination of normal factors, nor any amount of additional spending. Obama, of course, could do something stupid making himself more negative and thereby lose the election, by Romney cannot win the election.

    Gary Johnson has no such negatives. He could win the election by moving higher in the polls. He does have the attributes that could propel him over 50% in the polls and on election day. Enough money could make the difference and make him the next POTUS.

    A long-shot, yes, but better than Romney’s chances, Johnson, at this point, still has the better chance of winning in November.

  57. fred

    Q2Q–
    Okay, I get that–but is it helpful?

    If the goal is to either build the liberty movement or build the Libertarian party, is it helpful to be critical of Johnson during the election?

    He is out there campaigning and trying to get the message out. We aren’t going to change candidates now. Unless he is saying things that are against our party or values than we should be helping him get that message out, not making it harder for him.
    You want someone else to run, don’t show them a party that doesn’t support its candidate just because he couldn’t accomplish all of his goals.
    If you don’t want to support him during the next convention–bring these points up then.
    Now, it would be better to focus on what he is doing right and help.

  58. Andy

    “George Whitfield // Sep 16, 2012 at 5:33 am

    Remember that RJ Harris is on the ballot for Congress in Oklahoma. He supports Gary Johnson and Gary endorsed him.”

    RJ Harris is on the ballot in Oklahoma as an independent for US House. Apparently, Oklahoma actually has a procedure for getting on the ballot as an independent for US House that is pretty easy.

  59. Andy

    “LibertarianGirl // Sep 16, 2012 at 1:28 am

    Fuck you OK! you cheating , fascist assholes”

    I certainly agree that the scumbags in the state government in Oklahoma are deserving of such venomous comments, but you should also have some anger for the fools in the Libertarian Party who mismanaged the Oklahoma petition drive. The Libertarian Party would have ballot access in Oklahoma right now if more competent people had been running the petition drive (as in if they had listened to Paul and I).

  60. paulie

    The ballots are about to be, or perhaps already are, being printed, so a federal appeal would probably be too late for injunctive relief. The other possibility is that they just don’t have the money to file it. Federal appeals are expensive.

  61. paulie

    Also, since the issue here is state vs federal sovereignty, it’s possible that it would not be an issue the federal courts would be likely to side with us on? Just guessing on that one.

  62. Q2Q

    fred-

    It’s helpful because had Johnson (or even the LNC leadership for that matter) looked at what the Browne campaign did in 1996 and 2000, planned, and probably spent a bit of his own money he would have ballot access in OK. If the party is going to grow, it should learn from Browne and use him as a template for what the Party needs to do in order to grow. If Johnson is too arrogant to admit he made some mistakes, he doesn’t deserve my or anyone’s sympathy. If he can’t fulfill his campaign promise of 50 state ballot access, then he needs to be called out. If the party membership can’t or refuses to hold the nominee to a bare standard, then the party deserves to wither and die.

  63. George Phillies

    Johnson did not make a campaign promise of 50 state ballot access. He was assured by the leadership that recruited him that he was sure to get it, and fell for the line.

  64. Austin Battenberg Post author

    @74

    I’m a Ron Paul supporter. He is the one who awakened me. I will never be a sheeple again. I’m sure that some do exist. But you will never see me vote for a big-government statist Republican.

  65. JT

    Be Rational: “Romney is at a barrier. His own negatives. He cannot move significantly higher in the polls. He cannot win the election by any combination of normal factors, nor any amount of additional spending.”

    That’s not a logical conclusion. Some people are still undecided (as is always the case this far before an election) & Romney will pick up significantly more votes there. If more of the undecideds swing his way rather than Obama’s way, then he’ll have gained ground.

    Moreover, some conservatives who say they won’t vote in the election undoubtedly will panic with the prospect of another Obama term staring them in the face, hold their noses & vote for Romney at the last minute.

    Also, don’t underestimate the potential of a negative advertising blitz. Additional spending can indeed make a difference right before an election.

    Be Rational: “Obama, of course, could do something stupid making himself more negative and thereby lose the election, by Romney cannot win the election.”

    If one NFL team loses a game, then the opponent necessarily wins it. If Obama screws up big, all else being equal, then Romney would win it. In that case, you could say that Romney won the election more because of Obama’s meltdown more than on his own merits, but Romney would be the next U.S. President.

    Be Rational: “He could win the election by moving higher in the polls.”

    If Johnson skyrockets incredibly in the polls before election day, then of course he can win. You could say that of Stein as well. That’s kind of obvious. What are the odds of that much change happening within the next 6 weeks or so? Virtually nothing.

    But more important, GJ doesn’t have to come close to winning in order to have achieved something big. If he gets a few million votes, that would be a showing that would generate much more media attention & exposure for the LP, giving the party a great opportunity to recruit attract far more members & resources.

    In addition, it would probably energize some Libertarians who, if the LP candidate has another 6-figure showing, would feel deflated & may drop out. Demonstrating a dramatic improvement over previous candidates may motivate many of those individuals to remain active with the party.

  66. JT

    Phillies: “Johnson did not make a campaign promise of 50 state ballot access. He was assured by the leadership that recruited him that he was sure to get it, and fell for the line.”

    Who specifically promised him that he’d be on the ballot in every state? That may be the case, but I’d like some evidence for that claim.

    Regardless, a candidate does have important responsibilities, but ballot access isn’t one of them, Q2Q. That’s the job of each state party first, the national party second & to the extent that the LNC deems spending money for ballot access in a particular state to be a good use of resources, which is a decision that’s based on a variety of factors. Blaming the candidate for not being on the ballot in a particular state is misplaced.

  67. zapper

    @90 JT. Romney’s negatives are barriers in the minds of people. What it means is that most people will not vote for Romney under almost any circumstance – negatives that are under normal conditions impossible to overcome.

    These negatives make Romney’s chance of overcoming Obama nearly zero.

    A look at any of the state by state Electoral College maps confirms this. Obama already has more than 270 electoral votes in the bag. There are several states that are still being called battleground states that are already in the bag for Obama as well. Romney will have to work hard and find a miracle to break 200 votes in the EC.

    That puts Romney at nearly zero chance to be elected.

    He can’t overcome his negatives.

    Gary Johnson has almost no negatives. He would be a new factor in the race. If several big money PACs got behind him they could change the dynamics of the race overnight.

    Johnson could still win. His chances only depend on money. Small but possible.

    For Romney it’s already impossible.

    It’s Irrational to support Romney except as a protest vote.

  68. JT

    Zapper: “Romney’s negatives are barriers in the minds of people. What it means is that most people will not vote for Romney under almost any circumstance – negatives that are under normal conditions impossible to overcome.”

    All you did was reiterate what Be Rational said. What about the several things I pointed out in post 90 that would mean more support for Romney in the election than what’s showing up in polls now?

    Zapper: “Johnson could still win. His chances only depend on money. Small but possible.”

    Only on money? In that case, Johnson has a significant chance of raising millions more dollars in just a few weeks, right? Come on.

    Oh & there’s still the little thing of selling tens of millions of voters on his proposals. So money isn’t the only factor.

    Man, you guys are setting yourself up for a lot of disappointment & frustration.

  69. JT

    Oh, in post 90 one line should read “…giving the party a great opportunity to attract far more members & resources.”

  70. zapper

    @93 You are confusing the difference with where things stand at the present time versus what is possible in the future.

    Consider this: A 40 year old man who is 5 feet tall and a young boy who is 2 feet tall. Which one has the best odds of growing to become 6 feet tall?

    Obama is like the 40 year old man. He is done.

    Johnson is the babe.

    Romney has maxed out. He’s done. His negatives prevent him from winning. He cannot get more votes than Obama.

    Johnson has no such negatives. He can get more votes than Obama.

    So it’s irrational to support Romney if you want to defeat Obama.

  71. zapper

    Consider this: A 40 year old man who is 5 feet tall and a young boy who is 2 feet tall. Which one has the best odds of growing to become 6 feet tall?

    Romney is like the 40 year old man. He is done.

    Johnson is the babe.

  72. Robert Capozzi

    Z, it’s absurd to say Romney can’t win. I happen to agree that it’s starting to look unlikely that he can unseat BHO, true.

    Individual votes only matter to the voter. That’s why ;’m voting GJ.

  73. zapper

    A 40 year old man who is 5 feet tall can also grow to be 6 feet tall.

    Odds is what we’re discussing.

    Romney’s are near zero. Johnson’s chances are better than Romney’s.

  74. paulie

    It’s helpful because had Johnson (or even the LNC leadership for that matter) looked at what the Browne campaign did in 1996 and 2000, planned, and probably spent a bit of his own money he would have ballot access in OK. If the party is going to grow, it should learn from Browne and use him as a template for what the Party needs to do in order to grow.

    Certainly, I agree that many of the things we did right back then should serve as a lesson. I’ve been making a lot of arguments along those lines on the LNC list. The LNC wants to go in a different direction, as far as I can tell. The latest argument, about ballot access, seems to have most LNC members who have expressed an opinion coming down on the side of having the party abandon our efforts to be on all or almost all state ballots and use the money for other things. I think that would be suicidal, and have said so.

    If Johnson is too arrogant to admit he made some mistakes, he doesn’t deserve my or anyone’s sympathy. If he can’t fulfill his campaign promise of 50 state ballot access, then he needs to be called out. If the party membership can’t or refuses to hold the nominee to a bare standard, then the party deserves to wither and die.

    Johnson was not the one who made mistakes or promises, as George correctly pointed out.

    Johnson did not make a campaign promise of 50 state ballot access. He was assured by the leadership that recruited him that he was sure to get it, and fell for the line.

    To be fair, the Oklahoma and Michigan (to date) court rulings are absolutely absurd and against numerous legal precedents from all over the country in many years.

    However, it is also true as Andy said that good advice was ignored in Oklahoma and Pennsylvania, and as a result Oklahoma is extremely unlikely to have ballot access now and Pennsylvania is still up in the air.

    None of that was Johnson’s fault.

    I did contact the campaign to intervene in Pennsylvania repeatedly post-nomination, but they accepted Bill Redpath’s word as gospel and Bill relied on whatever Darryl told him.

  75. Robert Capozzi

    Zapper, I’m sorry, but are you smoking crack? GJ might have a 0.5% of winning, MR maybe 45%.

  76. Joe Buchman

    Around here we agree with Zapper — Mitt Romney has zero chance of winning (barring some miracle flop in the debates by the President), Gary Johnson has maybe a 1 percent chance right now with a 90 percent chance something major could move our way moving that 1 percent up to . . . something higher. We’re getting LOTS of calls from former Ron Paul supporters looking to help, and regular calls from disaffected Democrats as well.

    Meanwhile it’s clear from OK, MI, PA (and other states where we drove back their legal challenges (IA, VA etc) that the RP sees us as a real, significant threat.

  77. Gene Berkman

    Just some background on LP ballot status.

    In 1972 John Hospers was on the ballot in Colorado and Washington state. He received write-in votes in California and Massachusetts.

    In 1976 Roger MacBride was on the ballot in 32 states. In 1980 Ed Clark was on the ballot in 50 states plus DC.

    In 1984 David Bergland was on the ballot in 32 states. In 1988 Ron Paul was on in 47 states, I believe.

    In 1992 Andre Marrou was on in 50 states plus DC, in 1996 Harry Browne was on in 50 states.

    In 2000 Harry Browne was on in 49 states, and L Neil Smith was the LP candidate in Arizona.

    In 2004 Michael Badnarik was on in 48 states plus DC. In 2008 Bob Barr was on in 45 states.

    It is actually a pretty good record for an alternative party – certainly better than any currently existing alternative party.

    Gary Johnson is qualified in 48 states, far ahead of the Green Party, the Constitution Party, and the Justice Party.

  78. JT

    Zapper: “Consider this: A 40 year old man who is 5 feet tall and a young boy who is 2 feet tall. Which one has the best odds of growing to become 6 feet tall?”

    This is a false analogy. You’re just assuming your premise that Romney has “maxed out” (which you’re oddly comparing to a biological impossibility). But I pointed out several specific reasons why Romney has *not* maxed out: he’ll get votes from “undecideds” and more votes from conservatives who say they won’t vote.

    I have no idea to what extent those things will happen. But if you think it’s less likely than GJ raising tens of millions of dollars for TV ads and selling tens of millions of people on libertarian proposals before the election, then I think that’s all that can be said.

  79. Catholic Trotskyist

    If I remember correctly, all the states Barr missed in 2008 were pretty small. If Johnson doesn’t end up on the ballot in Pennsylvania or Michigan, there will actually be more people without Johnson on the ballot, than people who didn’t have Barr on their ballot, I think.

  80. Zapper

    Obama’s got over 300 Electoral votes locked in that Romney has essentially zero chance of taking away.

    If Paul Ryan can pull out WI for Romney, Obama wins 322 to 216. That looks like the best possible outcome for Romney.

    There are no more states with enough play to change to Romney. Early voting and absentee balloting will be underway soon.

    However, 2 Romney states in that group could swing to Obama, making it 347 to 191.

    For Romney, this election is over.

    If the Romney super PACs want to defeat Obama, they should abandon Romney and support Gary Johnson – he still has a chance – small, but better than Romney who has none.

  81. Cyric Renner

    He as already won in PA, and although the Republicans have appealed, I really do not see it being reversed.

    Michigan is more complex. All sorts of dirty tricks have been played to get him off the ballot. This “Sore Loser” clause is complete B.S. however as he had already withdrawn from the Republican nomination long before this would have become an issue.

  82. Robert Capozzi

    109 Z: Obama’s got over 300 Electoral votes locked in that Romney has essentially zero chance of taking away.

    me: Honestly, I’m worried about you, Zapper. Just as the Zapper Plan had some merit but was shot-through with loopy grandiosities, this analysis lacks grounding.

    It may be that BHO has 300 electoral college votes locked up. How you get that GJ is going to peel those away where MR failed is SO fantastical, I have to wonder whether you are kidding.

    Are you kidding?

  83. zapper

    @113 No, I am not kidding.

    Probability in the case of a lottery has to do with how many tickets you buy. If there are 1,000 tickets and one person buys 100 and another has 1 then the person with 100 has 100 times the chances of the person with 1 ticket of winning.

    In events such as the current election, odds are similar to the example about the 5′ 40 year old man vs. the 2′ child in reaching 6 ft in height. There are biological factors that make the 2′ child the more likely to reach 6′.

    Likewise, in this election, there are factors that make it next to impossible for Romney to move the needle beyond where he already is. At this point in time, Romney can not win through any action he or his campaign can take. It would take the revelation of some serious misdeed or a serious scandal involving Obama for Obama to lose to Romney.

    Romney cannot win and cannot move his level of support higher than it already is because of his negatives. Romney’s negatives are higher than his positives. People will not vote for him under any normal circumsance due to his numerous negatives. These negatives were in place in the 2008 nomination race and are still in place.

    Romney’s chances are next to zero. Hundreds of millions of dollars cannot change the negatives he faces in the minds of the voters. He cannot “grow” any more.

    Gary Johnson has no such negatives. He is a blank in the minds of the voters, unknown, a clean slate. It IS possible to move the needle beyond 50%. The same amount of money that Romney has could elect Johnson. His chances of winning are better than Romney because he actually has a chance, although quite small. Romney has none.

    There is no reason to vote for Romney in November except as a protest vote.

  84. zapper

    @110 Romney’s States:

    ID, UT, AZ,
    MT, WY,
    ND, SD, NE, KS, OK, TX,
    MO, AR, LA,
    WI,
    IN, KY, WV,
    TN, NC,
    MS, AL, GA, SC

    However, Obama may still carry WI and NC.

  85. paulie

    In events such as the current election, odds are similar to the example about the 5? 40 year old man vs. the 2? child in reaching 6 ft in height.

    ….in the next six weeks.

    The five foot tall man has a better chance; he could have a surgery or accident that stretches his bones/joints (I forgot what that is called).

    Romney’s vote will depend on events e.g., debate performance, gaffes, economic indicators, terrorist attacks, other world events, voter suppression and get out the vote efforts, interviews, campaign appearances, and so on. A swing of only a few points in only a few states puts him back in play.

    Even if Johnson magically got billions of dollars today, there would still be massive barriers to being competitive. It is almost certainly too late for him to get invited to debates, as Obama and Romney are already well into rehearsals. Even if he saturated national TV with advertising, it would take time to get the ad buys places and get the ads to air, and more time for them to swing opinion polls. By that time the debates will already be officialized. Then there are the straight party ticket voting devices still in place in many states. Even with political independence growing, they will lock tens of millions of votes into Omni-Robomba around the country. Johnson would have to overcome the fact that about half the country or more receive federal paychecks or payments of some sort, as well as all the propaganda in favor of government programs that people have been fed for decades, from school onwards, for generations. And you don’t think he would be hit with a massive barrage of highly negative ads, interviews and campaign appearances by the opposition? Or thinly disguised negative news stories? Or, for that matter, dirty tricks? Think planted drugs or a false rape accusation or two, or any number of things that could be done if he all of a sudden got a hold of real money.

    But suppose Johnson sent the election into the House. Well, how many Libertarians do we have there?

    The truth is that both Romney and Johnson are unlikely to be elected.

    Obama will get a second term.

    So, everyone should vote their conscience regardless of what state they live in with no fear of changing the outcome of the election.

    If it were only possible to make people realize that, Johnson would do much better in the election.

  86. zapper

    @116 You are correct about how small Johnson’s chances would be at this point given all the difficulties you’ve outlined.

    However, you are making the same mistake as many others about Romney. He has essentially no chance at all. There are not enough people left available to switch to Romney to change the outcome. The rest have him in a negative catagory. They will not consider him. He is not unknown. He is known and he has been rejected.

  87. NewFederalist

    Zapper predicts “Romney’s States:

    ID, UT, AZ,
    MT, WY,
    ND, SD, NE, KS, OK, TX,
    MO, AR, LA,
    WI,
    IN, KY, WV,
    TN, NC,
    MS, AL, GA, SC

    However, Obama may still carry WI and NC.”

  88. NewFederalist

    I believe you forgot AK as safe for Romney and you don’t think he has a chance in NH,IA, FL and VA? That would add 55 more EVs. Substitute OH for either FL or VA and there is still a better than zero chance he could pull it off. I happen to agree with you that Obama is likely to win an Electoral College majority but as much as I dislike Romney I still believe he has a better than zero chance.

  89. paulie

    He as already won in PA, and although the Republicans have appealed, I really do not see it being reversed.

    It could very well be reversed, unfortunately.

    Michigan is more complex. All sorts of dirty tricks have been played to get him off the ballot. This “Sore Loser” clause is complete B.S. however as he had already withdrawn from the Republican nomination long before this would have become an issue.

    It’s complete BS for many reasons, starting with the fact that sore loser laws have always been held not to apply to presidential candidates, and there have been plenty of precedents.

  90. zapper

    As I see it, Romney’s chance of carrying any state beyond the ones I’ve listed for him is nearly zero. The chance of getting several of the *Swung States simultaneously to switch to Romney is zero.

    * They are no longer swinging.

  91. Zapper

    @ 125. Nope RC. Just able to see things the way they are. The American people do not like Romney. They don’t connect with him. He has fatal negatives as a candidate.

    Some people are unelectable to certain offices in certain places at certain times. Romney for President is one of them, at any time. His chances have been nearly zero since the day he announced for President – both times.

  92. Zapper

    127 The fact that Johnson’s prospects are better than Romney’s doesn’t mean they are good. Only that a Johnson victory is possible and the odds for Romney are so low that Johnson’s odds are better.

    I’d give Obama a 98% chance, or better, of being re-elected at this point.

  93. Robert Capozzi

    128, ya know, I guess anything is possible, but to say GJ has a better chance than MR seems off-the-hook delusional to me. 98% of the pop.probably don’t know who GJ is.

    Hoping I’m incorrect…

  94. paulie

    98% of the pop.probably don’t know who GJ is.

    http://www.ballot-access.org/2012/09/19/pew-research-center-poll-asks-voters-if-they-have-heard-of-gary-johnson-jill-stein-or-virgil-goode/


    On September 19, Pew Research Center released a presidential poll. Among the questions were whether the respondent had ever heard of any of three particular presidential candidates. 26% had heard of Gary Johnson, 18% had heard of Jill Stein, and 9% had heard of Virgil Goode.

    The poll asked respondents whether they are voting for President Obama or Mitt Romney. 2% of the registered voters, and 1% of the likely voters, volunteered someone else, but the poll does not report further details. The poll does show that independent voters are far more likely to vote for a minor party presidential candidate. Registered or self-identified Democrats plan to vote 89% for Obama, 10% for Romney, and 1% volunteered “someone else” or undecided. Registered or self-identified Republicans plan to vote 6% for Obama, 91% for Romney, and 3% other. But independents plan to vote 44% for Obama, 42% for Romney, and 14% other. Here are the full results.

    Polls consistently report that independent voters support minor party candidates to a much greater degree than Republican or Democratic voters do. Ironically, Independent Voting, and the California Independent Voters Project, hold themselves out as representing the interests of independent voters, and yet both those organizations advocate top-two systems, which prevent minor party candidates from running in the general election.

    See original for link.

  95. paulie

    @BAN
    http://www.ballot-access.org/2012/09/20/pennsylvania-challenge-process-expected-to-continue-into-next-week/

    Pennsylvania Challenge Process Expected to Continue Into Next Week
    September 20th, 2012

    The Pennsylvania challenge process for the statewide Libertarian Party is still proceeding, and it is not expected to be finished until next week. Federal law requires that foreign absentee ballots be mailed no later than Saturday, September 22.

    In the past, when Pennsylvania’s process hasn’t been finished in time for the deadline for mailing overseas absentee ballots, the state has printed the challenged candidate’s name on the ballot, with the understanding that if the challenge succeeds in the end and defeats ballot access, the overseas voters will be sent notice that votes for certain candidates won’t be counted. Obviously this is a flawed and cumbersome process. There is always the hope that the objectors will give up their challenge, because statistically, it is extremely likely that the Libertarian petition has enough valid signatures.

  96. paulie

    http://www.ballot-access.org/2012/09/20/michigan-will-canvass-gary-johnson-write-in-votes/

    Michigan Will Canvass Gary Johnson Write-in Votes
    September 20th, 2012

    The Michigan Secretary of State has acknowedged that Gary Johnson is a declared write-in presidential candidate, and his write-ins will be counted. Meanwhile, the Michigan Libertarian Party is still trying to persuade the Sixth Circuit to print the name of Gary Johnson of Texas on the ballot. On September 19 a panel of the Sixth Circuit had denied any relief, two hours before the party had even filed its response brief. The party has asked for a rehearing. The state has never said why it won’t print Jim Gray, the party’s vice-presidential nominee, on the ballot.

  97. Zapper

    Recent polls:

    Obama leads Romney by seven points in both Ohio (49 to 42 percent) and Virginia (50 to 43 percent). In Florida, Obama leads by five points (49 to 44 percent). Obama won all three states in 2008, marking the first time Virginia voted for a Democratic president since 1964.

    In Michigan and Wisconsin, Obama has also opened up a lead against his rival: A CNN poll puts him up eight points in Michigan (52 to 44 percent), and one from Marquette Law School has Obama leading Romney by 14 points in Wisconsin (54 to 40 percent). In August, Obama led Romney in Wisconsin by only three points.

    Romney is toast.

  98. All Oakies are the same

    Oklahoman here, Keep showing your hypocritical ignorance by insulting Oklahoman people. Meanwhile I will be going to Kansas to vote.

  99. NewFederalist

    I believe the insults were at Oklahoma’s state government. I would hope you could agree that not allowing write-in votes and having the most difficult ballot access in the nation plus deliberately misleading the LP as to the AE ballot access line is not going to engender goodwill. Even you are heading off to Kansas to vote.

  100. Pearls

    Nice language, LG. Total class. While I am supremely disappointed with Johnson being omitted from the ballot, it is representative of our closed system in Oklahoma. I am currently doing all I can to educate and let people know this kind of system does nothing but enslave us and keep the status quo allowing corrupt men and women to jump from elected government job to elected government job all the while collecting a pension from each and every job all on our dime.

    Yes we have things we need to work on here, yes I am sure your state is PERFECT and you are so superior.

    All in all however, our unemployment is below the national average and companies are moving here right and left and our cost of living is extremely low as is our gas prices. Things could be worse.

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