Unless Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump are actually convicted of a crime before Election Day, Gary Johnson probably won’t be elected President outright. Apparently, being accused of several felonies isn’t enough to convince voters to look at a third party candidate. Now, there is still a chance the Governor could win his home state and keep the two under 270 electoral college votes. But, barring that, the Libertarian nominee will have to measure his success in other ways. There are other metrics. If Gary Johnson can get a certain percentage of the popular vote he can guarantee the Libertarian Party ballot access in twelve states.
Ballot access is a nightmare. It’s an unreported disaster because the two parties never have to deal with it. The Republican and Democrat parties are guaranteed ballot access in all fifty states. Thus, the media never reports on it, and few people know how difficult getting ballot access can be for a third party. Nor will they know how expensive it is. The Libertarian Party spends six figures getting on the ballot every four years. That’s money that they could instead use to support their candidates’ campaigns. If Gary Johnson gets a certain percentage of the vote in these thirteen states, they’ll save hundreds of thousands of dollars in 2020.
- States Where Gary Johnson Could Win Ballot Access By Popular Vote %
Alabama – 20% (No polling data available)
Georgia – 20% (RCP polling average 6%)
Illinois – 5% (RCP polling average 6%)
Iowa – 2% (RCP polling average 6%)
Kentucky – 2% (RCP polling 5%)
Maine – 5% (RCP polling average 8%)
Massachusetts – 3% (RCP polling average 6%)
Pennsylvania – 2% across 10 counties (RCP polling average 6%)
Rhode Island – 5% (RCP polling 5%)
Virginia– 10% (RCP polling average 4%)
Wisconsin – 1% (RCP polling average 6%)
Washington– 5% (RCP polling average 6%)
- States Where The Libertarian Party Already Has Ballot Access
- States Where Ballot Access Is Determined Otherwise
New Hampshire – 4% for Governor
New Jersey – 10% for General Assembly
New York – 50,000 votes for Governor
North Dakota – 5% for Governor
Ohio – 3% for President (Johnson is listed as an Independent not as a Libertarian)
South Dakota – 2.5% for Governor
Tennessee – 5% for Governor
Three of the states that Gary Johnson could win the Libertarian Party ballot access have requirements that probably won’t be met. It’s unlikely that the Governor will be able to get 20% of the vote in Alabama or Georgia (which is why those bars are set so high in the first place). Also, Virginia is a swing state and both of the two campaigns are pouring tens of millions into it trying to keep the Libertarian nominee down. He probably won’t get 10% of the vote there either but it is possible. One poll from mid-October did find Gary Johnson at 11% in the state.
Although, the other ten states on that list are well within reach. Gary Johnson is polling significantly higher than the required vote total in every one of those states. If he’s able to maintain his support another week, he’ll likely get the Libertarian Party ballot access there. That would save the party hundreds of thousands of dollars and greatly help their candidates running for state offices there. It’s one way that Gary Johnson will leave a lasting mark on politics in the United States.