While it may feel like it’s already been four years, thanks to the antics of the Trump administration, it hasn’t. We still have three years to go until the 2020 election cycle kicks off. Nonetheless, it is worthwhile to test the waters now to see who libertarians might want to run for President then. With Gary Johnson promising recently that he won’t run for President again the field is wide open. Of course, that is if you believe a politician when they say they won’t run again. With that in mind, we included Gary Johnson in our second quarterly poll of the 2020 Libertarian Party primary anyway.
Rand Paul won our first poll, taken during the third quarter of 2016, with a substantial margin. Austin Petersen was able to continue on in second place with a similar percentage of the vote to that which he received during the 2016 primary. Gary Johnson also managed a strong showing despite his vote appearing to be split with his running mate Bill Weld. Those top four candidates were responsible for 78.6% of the total vote. The remaining eight candidates only averaged a few points apiece showing there was already a strong top tier.
Although, things have changed dramatically in the three months since we took that first poll. Rand Paul has made some questionable confirmation votes, Austin Petersen is considering running for Senate as a Republican, Gary Johnson has promised he won’t run for President again, and Bill Weld hasn’t been seen or heard from. Whether or not they remain the top tier for the 2020 Libertarian Party primary is up in the air. This second poll of the 2020 Libertarian Party primary will help us begin to establish that trend.