IPR’s Second 2016 Libertarian Party Presidential Preference Poll Results: Johnson Leads But May Face Convention Fight

2016 candidates

IPR conducted a poll with SurveyMonkey from May 11–18 asking readers to select their preferences for the Libertarian Party’s 2016 presidential and vice presidential nominations.  173 individuals participated in the poll.

For President, participants were asked to select from the 18 presidential candidates recognized at LP.org or write-in any name.  Overall, nearly a majority 47.98% of the participants preferred former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson.  Among party members, he received a plurality 47.12%.  However, among party members who will serve as delegates at the National Convention, Johnson’s support falls to 31.91%, just above second place Darryl Perry, publisher of Free Press Publications, at 29.79%. Among those who do not belong to the party but say the party aligns with their views, a majority 55.56% support Johnson.



Members Delegates Aligned non-members
Gary Johnson 47.98% 47.12% 31.91% 55.56%
Darryl Perry 14.45% 18.27% 29.79% 6.67%
John McAfee 12.72% 13.46% 19.15% 13.33%
Austin Petersen 12.14% 8.65% 8.51% 17.78%
Marc Feldman 3.47% 4.81% 6.38% 2.22%
Kevin McCormick 2.31% 1.92% 4.26% 2.22%
Robert Milnes 1.16% 0.96% 2.22%
NOTA 1.16%
Shawna Sterling 1.16% 0.96%
Joey Berry 0.58% 0.96%
Mike Shannon 0.58% 0.96%
Rhett Smith 0.58%
Heidi Zeman 0.58%
Richard Burke (W) 0.58% 0.96%
Mitt Romney (W) 0.58%

Using ranked choice voting with the lowest placed finisher eliminated each round until one candidate receives a majority, among the National Convention delegates, Johnson receives a majority on the fifth ballot, narrowly defeating Perry.  This suggests Johnson may face a tough convention battle when the National Convention convenes on May 26.

The map below shows the overall results by state.

Poll Map

For Vice President, voters could write-in a name or choose among those known to have announced their candidacy.  Since this was not a required field, only 149 votes were cast. Overall, attorney Alicia Dearn received a plurality 20.81%, edging activist Will Coley (16.11%), with former Congressman Kerry Bentivolio (14.77%), and NOTA (14.09%) close behind.  Dearn increases her support among party members with 26.14%, trailed by Coley with 23.86%.  Though Dearn expands to 27.27% among party members who will serve as delegates at the National Convention, she loses her lead to Coley who nets 29.55%.   Among those who do not belong to the party but say the party aligns with their views, Bentivolio scores a plurality 21.05% with NOTA in a close second at 18.42%.

Candidate Overall Members Delegates Aligned non-members
Alicia Dearn 20.81% 26.14% 27.27% 13.16%
Will Coley 16.11% 23.86% 29.55% 5.26%
Kerry Bentivolio 14.77% 7.95% 4.55% 21.05%
NOTA 14.09% 9.09% 6.82% 18.42%
Judd Weiss 8.05% 6.82% 11.36% 10.53%
Austin Petersen (W) 4.70% 5.68% 2.27% 5.26%
Jim Gray (W) 2.68% 3.41% 2.27%
Ron Paul (W) 2.68% 1.14% 2.27% 7.89%
Kerry McKennon 2.01% 3.41% 2.27%
Robert Sarvis (W) 1.34% 5.26%
Larry Sharpe (W) 1.34% 1.14% 2.27% 2.63%
Justin Amash (W) 0.67% 2.63%
Richard Burke (W) 0.67% 1.14%
Don’t Know (W) 0.67%
Louis Gossett Jr. (W) 0.67% 2.63%
Daniel Hogan (W) 0.67% 1.14% 2.27%
Susan Hogarth (W) 0.67% 1.14%
Steve Kerbel (W) 0.67% 1.14% 2.27%
David Koch (W) 0.67% 1.14%
Ken Krawchuk (W) 0.67% 1.14%
Jason Kuznicki (W) 0.67% 1.14%
Kevin McCormick (W) 0.67% 1.14% 2.27%
Nominee’s Choice (W) 0.67% 1.14%
Ben Sasse (W) 0.67%
Larry Sharpe (W) 0.67% 1.14% 2.27% 2.63%
Vermin Supreme (W) 0.67% 1.14% 2.27%
Jesse Ventura (W) 0.67% 2.63%
Bill Weld (W) 0.67% 2.63%

Since ranked choice voting was not available for the vice presidential race, it is not known whether Coley would maintain his lead in a hypothetical National Convention runoff election.

49 thoughts on “IPR’s Second 2016 Libertarian Party Presidential Preference Poll Results: Johnson Leads But May Face Convention Fight

  1. Thomas L. Knapp

    If the poll is accurate with respect to delegate support, Johnson’s done.

    But I’m skeptical as to the poll’s accuracy. It’s hard to get good representative sampling in this situation.

  2. mARS

    Interesting data. Selection bias probably reduces its predictive power, though.

  3. Cody Quirk

    “But I’m skeptical as to the poll’s accuracy. It’s hard to get good representative sampling in this situation.”

    Agreed; I’m sure there’s a ton of delegates out there that didn’t participate in this poll, so it’s also possible that the results at the convention are going to be a lot different then this poll.

  4. Joe Wendt

    If accurate, Gary Johnson was set for a convention fight before naming gun control enthusiast Bill Weld his running mate. I think he will now face an uphill battle and snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

  5. JamesT

    I wouldn’t have voted Johnson if he had already mentioned Weld. He’s in for a convention fight. Though I don’t have the $ to be a delegate. Hopefully even if he redeems himself to the delegates they pick a different VEEP.

  6. AMcCarrick

    Yep…. party’s doomed this election cycle. We won’t see .5% of the vote. We had an opportunity and it’s been ruined by a bunch of bullshit infighting. Good going guys.

  7. George Phillies

    A great deal has happened since this poll was started.

    Another short poll might be of merit.

    And poor, orphaned, lonely NOTA had no support. Can white knight champion Sarwark save her from a dire fate?

  8. Thomas L. Knapp


    LPers with bad ideas ALWAYS blame “bullshit infighting” for their ideas not working.

    I’d say there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll get your Republican ticket of Johnson/Weld. And if you do, one of two things will happen:

    – They’ll do a tiny bit better than previous LP tickets and you’ll act like it’s some kind of major accomplishment; or

    – They’ll crater and you’ll blame everyone but them and yourself for the fact that they were a couple of goddamn gimps.

  9. Tony From Long Island

    If the LP does not nominate Johnson / Weld, then it is obvious its members do not want the party to be taken seriously. Their ridiculous “purity tests” will doom them to failure and be the reason the party never gets above 1%. No party or candidate will have 100% agreement with any given member or voter.

  10. Thomas L. Knapp

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, Tony, I’ve heard it all before — anyone who doesn’t support your brokedick “Republican who polled at 1% in his own party’s primary so came over here to see if he could scam us out of our ballot line” ticket is a “purist” who “isn’t serious.”

    You had your way two election cycles in a row. You didn’t produce. So why not go fuck yourself and see if the LIBERTARIANS can do something with the Libertarian Party’s ballot line this time?

  11. George Phillies

    Based on this report, the three-way debate had the wrong three people.

  12. Pro-Choice Libertarians

    Despite multiple requests, sure is hard trying to get a response out of Johnson and McAfee campaigns to see if they want to remove the abortion plank or not. Important issue guys! 30% of American woman have an abortion during their lives! (Lot more than other tiny special interest groups that get so much attention from libertarians.)

    Perry and Peterson do, FYI. See our chart http://pro-choicelibertarians.net/2016-race

  13. Thomas L. Knapp

    Real pro-choice libertarians would either want to delete the current plank or get a real pro-choice plank instead of endorsing e.g. anti-abortionists getting away with the assassination of George Tiller as the current plank does.

    Plank deletion makes the most sense since abortion rights are about 500% secure for the foreseeable future in the US at this time. It’s not only not an “important issue,” it’s not an issue at all, any more than whether or not women can vote is. It’s been decided in law, it’s been decided in culture, and any agitation on either side of it is just opportunist demagoguery at this point.

  14. Carol Moore

    Sorry, get rid of the plank and the ABORTION PROHIBITIONISTS flood in with the DEAD BABY pictures demanding laws to out law abortion. Hopefully pro-choicers will learn there lesson. And maybe Tom doesn’t know about all the freaking state laws to restrict or out law it. Even to monitor women’s miscarriages! See http://pro-choicelibertarians.net/links/

    Let’s get rid of gun rights too, that’s settled law. What bull shit.

  15. Thomas L. Knapp


    Logic never has been your strong suit.

    No, no platform change on abortion is going to result in any “flooding” effect on the LP. Both sides of that debate already have parties who give them anything they want.

    Gun rights is far from settled law, and the parts of it that ARE settled are settled in the anti-liberty direction. On abortion, on the other hand, any and all restrictions on it have been suppressed in the courts for decades. So if you consider pro-choice the libertarian position, you have had your way for more than 40 years. When do you plan to take “yes” for an answer instead of continuing to demagogue it?

  16. sparkey

    I’ve been saying since early in the contest that Perry will overperform at the convention, and Petersen will underperform. I think that the delegate:non-delegate ratio of those two candidates in this poll really shows that.

    Perry’s support may be overstated here, though, and he’s a more polarizing candidate than many here give him credit for. If Johnson gets taken to 5 ballots, I expect it to be McAfee rather than Perry challenging him.

  17. sparkey

    Saturn, could you please provide a ballot-by-ballot breakdown based on the ranked choice voting? I’m really interested in how Petersen and McAfee supporters would change their support once their candidates have been eliminated.

  18. Trent Hill

    Saturn, that’s a great suggestion. I know it would be work, but it’s be interesting to see where Peterson or McAfree or Perry’s supporters would go once pushed out.

    Sparkey–I think this poll over-emphasizes Perry’s strength. IPR tends towards the NAP/Anarchist type of libertarians, rather than the Gary Johnson-supporting types. I still think this will come down to McAfree with Peterson as VP against Johnson/Weld.

  19. Thomas L. Knapp


    Trenchant analysis.

    I’m still of the opinion that Johnson wins on the first ballot, or he doesn’t win. And I’m still not seeing any reason to expect him to win on the first ballot.

    Recruiting Weld to run for VP as a team with him probably energized those who ALREADY support him a little, but it also probably pushed some undecideds firmly off the fence on another side (the people who’d find Weld attractive were almost certainly already on the Johnson bandwagon).


    I’m not sure where your idea of a McAfee/Petersen ticket is coming from. McAfee has already endorsed a veep candidate. I think it was a dumb endorsement, but I’ve seen no sign of him backing away from it. And if he did, Coley would be a better match than Petersen.

  20. Trent Hill

    Your thoughts are noted, Knapp.

    I suspect the only person who could actually pull off their preferred VP pick is Johnson. Others will need to make a deal that gives a former opponent the VP spot if they hope to collect enough delegates.

  21. Thomas L. Knapp


    I don’t think there are really any deals to be had on the “support me for president and I’ll pick you as VP” front this year. But I can’t explain why I don’t think so at blog comment word length except to say that neither Perry nor McAfee strike me as likely to negotiate on that, nor do I expect Petersen to have a whole lot to negotiate WITH on it — especially since he’s been hard enough on Johnson that his supporters aren’t going to turn on THAT dime.

  22. Jill Pyeatt

    Since Petersen announced his run, he and his FB team have been promising huge support, that he’ll win the nomination easily.

    Is it possible they’ve been wrong?? (snicker,snicker)

  23. Jill Pyeatt

    Well, my questions to the vp candidates will be affected by Johnson’s announcement, but hopefully the people who agreed to participate still will (actually, I think that was everyone who had announced until today). I’ll send the questions to Weld, but I don’t think I’ll hold the results if I don’t hear from him. I’m hoping to have the article ready over the weekend.

  24. Jill Pyeatt

    Derrick Reid has been to quite a few debates. I’m surprised he didn’t have even one supporter, according to this.

    Well, I’m not really surprised idealogically, but personally, I think he has a nice way about him. He’s clearly very passionate. I wonder if he’ll re-vamp his campaign and make a run in 2020.

  25. Andy

    I am not surprised that Reid did not have any supporters. If he gets any votes at the convention it will likely just be him voting for himself.

  26. robert capozzi

    At the 83 NatCon, James “Piggy” Norwood got one vote from a guy who said he didn’t support Piggy, but he felt that someone should not get no votes at all.

    Piggy gave one of the most compelling speeches I’ve ever seen. He brought out a stack of papers — 2 feet high — and claimed it was Misesian “psychological warfare” that was “necessary to win this election.”

    The floor was stunned, me included.

  27. natural born American

    My vote was suppressed by IPR’s decision to close the polls early. This member-but-not-delegate supports Gov. Ventura over Gary the goofy globalist.

  28. Carol Moore

    This isn’t about logic, Tom. This is about facts.
    See link for link to the articles.

    Renewed efforts to outlaw abortion

    Making abortion illegal does not reduce number of women having terminations, study concludes (in fact increases it), the Independent, 2016
    Supreme Court upcoming decision on regulating clinics out of existence
    “5 Major Abortion Conflicts Brewing for 2016”, December 2015
    “When Conservatives Love Overregulation”, Reason Magazine, 2016
    “How Republicans’ Obsession with Fetuses Has Reached Insane New Heights”, 2016, Vice.com, 2016
    “It’s Still Shockingly Hard to Get an Abortion in Much of America”, Vice.com, 2016
    “U.S. Passed 47 New Anti-Abortion Laws in 2015”, Reason magazine, 2015
    “The Real Origins of the Religious Right“, Politico.com, 2014 (using abortion issue to mobilize Republican agendas)
    “Arrested for Having a Miscarriage? 7 Appalling Instances Where Pregnant Women Were Criminalized“, Alternet, 2014
    “Hidden Persuaders: The unheralded gains of the pro-life movement”, The Weekly Standard, 2011

  29. William Saturn Post author

    DWP: “Could you provide state-by-state results?
    As well as the previously requested round-by-round results?”

    Should I post a new article?

  30. sparkey

    I’m probably not the one Saturn is asking, but I vote yes to both of his questions. (And maybe if there’s going to be a new poll, the VP poll should be redone with Weld instead of Bentivolio?)

  31. William Saturn Post author

    Bentivolio received a healthy amount of support so I’m considering replacing McKennon with Weld, eliminating the write-in option and allowing ranked choice voting for VP.

  32. Dave

    I would love a new poll personally. Maybe with ranked choices for VP as well, if its not too much trouble.

    Surprised to see Perry doing so well. Nothing against him, but his support among delegates is interesting. Could we maybe get a breakdown of how many voters were delegates? Unless I missed that.

  33. Dave

    Also, I notice no option for people who said they were not members of the LP OR aligned with their views. Were there no votes in this category or were they simply not counted? (I can see why they wouldn’t be, just curious.)

  34. Bondurant

    For those of you complaining about the Libertarian Party “going nowhere” and “purity tests”, I ask you why actual libertarians should sacrifice our beliefs just to be popular?

    The entire point of forming the Libertarian Party was the wholesale rejection of the Democrats and Republicans. The entire point of joining the Libertarian Party is the same thing. We are not Democrats. We are not Republicans.

    You’re asking us to sacrifice our beliefs and swallow the lesser of two evils. You’re making the same arguments that Democrats and Republicans make. Then again, most making this argument are Democrats and Republicans (at least on IPR as of late) so perhaps this is not a surprise.

  35. Jill Pyeatt

    It looks to me that William is currently working on a second article. Hopefully, he can get post it within the next few hours.

  36. Trent Hill

    A new article would be the way to do it, I think, William. This content stands on its own.

  37. Pingback: IPR’s Second 2016 Libertarian Party Presidential Preference Poll Detailed Results | Independent Political Report

  38. Stewart Flood

    By the time you take a poll and post the highly inaccurate results we will all be on our way home from Orlando. As was said earlier, only one poll counts at this point in time.

    I predict Johnson in one round with 57%. I don’t say I want that, but it is my prediction.

  39. Andy

    “Stewart Flood
    May 19, 2016 at 21:32
    By the time you take a poll and post the highly inaccurate results we will all be on our way home from Orlando. As was said earlier, only one poll counts at this point in time.

    I predict Johnson in one round with 57%. I don’t say I want that, but it is my prediction.”

    If Johnson does win, I hope that Weld does not end up as his VP.

    I am not a big fan of Jim Gray, but even he’d be preferable to Weld.

    Does Gray have health problems, or did he just not feel like running again, or what?

  40. Stewart Flood

    I have no clue. Running for vp is not an easy task. Gray may have political detractors in the LP, but he is a really good guy. He would have probably run if asked. Based on who they picked and the timing of the announcement, I doubt he was.

  41. Thomas L. Knapp

    I specifically — although perhaps not accurately — recall someone saying that Johnson had told them he intended to run with Judge Gray again. That was some time back, around the time he declared his second candidacy.

    I’m guessing that Gray decided, for whatever reason, that he didn’t want to do it again. I don’t think Dearn would have entered the field were that not the case. She was obviously teed up as Johnson’s running mate this time, until Weld turned up like a bad penny.

  42. Pingback: IPR’s 2016 Libertarian Party Presidential Preference Poll Results: Johnson & Petersen Tie Amid Voting Anomalies | Saturn's Repository

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