This year there were six states that allowed the Libertarian Party on their primary ballots: Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, Oregon, and California. The Minnesota caucus and North Carolina primary were won by Gary Johnson in early March. Then Austin Petersen won his home state of Missouri, however, Johnson and McAfee didn’t appear on that primary ballot. Thankfully that exclusion wasn’t repeated in Nebraska and their Libertarian Party primary results actually include all three candidates.
Gary Johnson won Nebraska with 52% of the vote to Austin Petersen’s 19% and John McAfee came in a very close third place with 17% of the vote. Far behind McAfee in fourth place was Marc Allen Feldman with 7% of the vote and Steve Kerbel with 5% of the vote. Kerbel actually dropped out over two months ago but was not removed from the ballot in time.
Gary Johnson won forty three counties, Austin Petersen won eight, John McAfee won three, and there weren’t any votes recorded in thirty nine counties. Johnson won all of the most populous counties on the eastern side of Nebraska including Douglas County where Omaha is located. Petersen won one of the counties neighboring his home state of Missouri as well as others on the western side of the state.
This is one of the last state primaries that will be held before the Libertarian Party national convention begins. In just about two weeks the Libertarian Party will meet in Orlando to nominate a candidate for President. The Oregon primary will technically be held on May 27th, the day that the national convention starts. Although, those Libertarian Party primary results may not be widely known until after the party delegates cast their votes for the Presidential nominee on the 30th.
Thus far it’s been difficult to track who’s winning the Libertarian Party primary so far because few states allow the the party on their primary ballots. As a result, the party doesn’t consider these state results to be binding. All libertarian party delegates are unbound which means they can switch their support at any time. In the past, this has often happened at the national convention itself making for very contested politics.
Nonetheless, the candidates that win these states can give an idea of who’s leading the race. Gary Johnson’s third win certainly helps his case as the presumptive nominee. Austin Petersen’s second place finish also solidifies his standing as the main challenger. Although, John McAfee was nipping at Petersen’s heels and only a dozen votes behind. The Nebraska Libertarian Party primary results have confirmed what many thought was the current standing of the race and will have an effect on who the delegates decide to back in the end.