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Candidate dissatisfaction opening doors for Libertarians

from lp.org

Local author Tom Mullen was among those who covered the recent Libertarian National Convention in Orlando where he found delegates feeling upbeat about the November election. "Everyone sensed...an opportunity here to make a big leap forward because of the unpopularity of these other candidates."

The energy at the Libertarian Convention was "very high," according to Mullen, who has contributed to Newsweek, The Washington Times and Huffington Post.

"I went to the Republican Convention four years ago," Mullen recalled.

"Other than the Ron Paul-people, who were supercharged, the rest of it (the Republican Convention) looked like what Rodney Dangerfield might call, 'The Dance of the Living Dead.'"

Following a vote of national delegates, a majority chose Gary Johnson as the party's candidate for the November Presidential election. Johnson, who served two terms as the Republican Governor of New Mexico, also ran as the national candidate in 2012.

"He (Johnson) found his way to Libertarianism without reading a lot of theory and he's criticized about that from hard core Libertarians who says he's not a real Libertarian," said Mullen, who has had the chance to interview Johnson.

"He's kind of moderate. He's more of a common sense kind of guy. He's very popular. He's a very easy-going kind of person, somebody who's very likable."

According to Mullen, some polls have shown strong support for Johnson. Others fail to even mention his candidacy. That lack of national identity may prevent Johnson from appearing in any national debate with the Democratic and Republican candidates. Still, with the leading candidates struggling with high negative ratings, a door could be open for another option.

"Gary Johnson often says he thinks most Americans are Libertarian, they just don't know it."

Credit Tom Mullen.net
Author Tom Mullen

A longer version of WBFO's interview with Tom Mullen can be heard here.


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Jay joined Buffalo Toronto Public Media in 2008 and has been local host for NPR's "Morning Edition" ever since. In June, 2022, he was named one of the co-hosts of WBFO's "Buffalo, What's Next."

A graduate of St. Mary's of the Lake School, St. Francis High School and Buffalo State College, Jay has worked most of his professional career in Buffalo. Outside of public media, he continues in longstanding roles as the public address announcer for the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League and as play-by-play voice of Canisius College basketball.