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Subject: Gary Johnson deserves a place in the presidential debates rss

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Shawn Fox
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I don't think he has any chance at all of winning, but his Trump joke yesterday earned him a seat at the debate as far as I'm concerned.

Gary Johnson: I hear that Donald Trump is watching the Olympics tonight. He's seeing how high the Mexican pole vaulters go.

According to what I understand, Gary Johnson will get into the debates if he manages to reach 15% support and some recent polls have him at 12%, so he is really close. I think if he does manage to get into the debates Trump will finish 3rd in the national vote. That will seal the deal for Hillary of course, but I think she is going to win either way. Gary could, however, do well enough that the libertarians become a serious party next election. I'd very much welcome another alternative, even though I disagree with a lot of what the libertarians stand for. That said, if the Libertarians get enough support to be a serious party, I suspect their candidates views will become far more moderate than they are as a fringe party.
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Mike Stiles
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I kind of feel like that should be their goal - with the GOP in full collapse (or looking like it is), it gives at least potential opportunity for a third party.
 
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David desJardins
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sfox wrote:
I think if he does manage to get into the debates Trump will finish 3rd in the national vote.


I'm going to remind you of this absurd prediction. I wonder if you'll be embarrassed when it's clear how far off you were.
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Jon Badolato
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DaviddesJ wrote:
sfox wrote:
I think if he does manage to get into the debates Trump will finish 3rd in the national vote.


I'm going to remind you of this absurd prediction. I wonder if you'll be embarrassed when it's clear how far off you were.


Yeah, that was my first thought as well. There is no way Johnson is going to beat out Trump in either vote count or electoral votes. I almost wish he would but it ain't happening.
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sfox wrote:
I don't think he has any chance at all of winning, but his Trump joke yesterday earned him a seat at the debate as far as I'm concerned.

Gary Johnson: I hear that Donald Trump is watching the Olympics tonight. He's seeing how high the Mexican pole vaulters go.

According to what I understand, Gary Johnson will get into the debates if he manages to reach 15% support and some recent polls have him at 12%, so he is really close. I think if he does manage to get into the debates Trump will finish 3rd in the national vote. That will seal the deal for Hillary of course, but I think she is going to win either way. Gary could, however, do well enough that the libertarians become a serious party next election. I'd very much welcome another alternative, even though I disagree with a lot of what the libertarians stand for. That said, if the Libertarians get enough support to be a serious party, I suspect their candidates views will become far more moderate than they are as a fringe party.


As soon as he hits 15%, the bar will be raised to 20%.
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David desJardins
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sfox wrote:
According to what I understand, Gary Johnson will get into the debates if he manages to reach 15% support and some recent polls have him at 12%, so he is really close.


The RCP average has Johnson at 8.4. He doesn't qualify based on ONE poll, but on the average of polls. He's not particularly close.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/us/ge...
 
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Chad Ellis
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I'm torn on third-party participation in Presidential debates. On the one hand, I like having more of a challenge to the dominant parties. On the other, the debates are about giving people useful information for their vote. That suggests having only the two candidates who might, you know, get elected.
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I think the 15% cutoff is useful if arbitrary. As David pointed out, he's not very close to that yet. If he gets there, I'd be in favor of his participation.

 
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Shawn Fox
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DaviddesJ wrote:
sfox wrote:
I think if he does manage to get into the debates Trump will finish 3rd in the national vote.


I'm going to remind you of this absurd prediction. I wonder if you'll be embarrassed when it's clear how far off you were.

That is what people said when I predicted Trump had a really good shot at becoming the Republican nominee way back in February. The amount of discontent that both parties have with their candidates really does open up the door, all it takes is a bit of luck for the Libertarians. A bit of positive press coverage and all of the 'never Trump' vote could quickly flow to Johnson.

If I were Johnson I'd start needling Trump to get him to respond. Trump won't be able to resist attacking him which will just result in exposing Johnson to more Republican voters. Realistically he is a better candidate, more qualified to be president than Trump by a long shot. If the polls start showing that Trump doesn't have a chance, a lot of Republicans might throw their vote to Johnson and it will be all over for Trump. It still does, however, all hinge on Johnson getting into the debates. In this election cycle anyone who discounts unlikely scenarios has a really good chance of being surprised.
 
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Chad Ellis
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sfox wrote:

That is what people said when I predicted Trump had a really good shot at becoming the Republican nominee way back in February. The amount of discontent that both parties have with their candidates really does open up the door, all it takes is a bit of luck for the Libertarians. A bit of positive press coverage and all of the 'never Trump' vote could quickly flow to Johnson.

If I were Johnson I'd start needling Trump to get him to respond. Trump won't be able to resist attacking him which will just result in exposing Johnson to more Republican voters. Realistically he is a better candidate, more qualified to be president than Trump by a long shot. If the polls start showing that Trump doesn't have a chance, a lot of Republicans might throw their vote to Johnson and it will be all over for Trump. It still does, however, all hinge on Johnson getting into the debates. In this election cycle anyone who discounts unlikely scenarios has a really good chance of being surprised.


This is definitely a wild season, but I think the likelihood of a third-party candidate coming in second (or first) is vanishingly small. That said, I applaud your recommended strategy. Johnson needs some air time and visibility, and if he pokes Trump and gets a response then he can be part of the news cycle.

The other thing that helps him is the likely plan for the GOP House and Senate to run ads that basically say, "Trump is losing which makes it even more important to keep us in Congress as a block to Hillary." To the extent that they're successful, people who come to keep Congress Republican may vote third party.

But yeah, Trump actually coming third to Johnson seems borderline impossible unless what we're seeing now is just the start of the implosion.
 
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David desJardins
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sfox wrote:
That is what people said when I predicted Trump had a really good shot at becoming the Republican nominee way back in February.


Not me. It really is possible to sort people by how good their predictions are. Unfortunately, it's unlikely that Johnson will get into the debates, so unlikely that you'll realize how wrong you were.
 
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sfox wrote:
That is what people said when I predicted Trump had a really good shot at becoming the Republican nominee way back in February. The amount of discontent that both parties have with their candidates really does open up the door, all it takes is a bit of luck for the Libertarians. A bit of positive press coverage and all of the 'never Trump' vote could quickly flow to Johnson.

Except that the NeverTrump vote currently amounts to less than 30% of Republicans. It would have to get close to 50%, and then Johnson would still have to take all of it. That isn't going to happen. Some will stay home. Some will skip down ballot. Some will vote Clinton. Some will vote Stein. Drew will write himself in. And yes, some will vote for Johnson - but not nearly enough for him to overtake Trump in the voting.

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Junior McSpiffy
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SPIGuy wrote:
sfox wrote:
That is what people said when I predicted Trump had a really good shot at becoming the Republican nominee way back in February. The amount of discontent that both parties have with their candidates really does open up the door, all it takes is a bit of luck for the Libertarians. A bit of positive press coverage and all of the 'never Trump' vote could quickly flow to Johnson.

Except that the NeverTrump vote currently amounts to less than 30% of Republicans. It would have to get close to 50%, and then Johnson would still have to take all of it. That isn't going to happen. Some will stay home. Some will skip down ballot. Some will vote Clinton. Some will vote Stein. Drew will write himself in. And yes, some will vote for Johnson - but not nearly enough for him to overtake Trump in the voting.



But you are accounting for those who are on the Trump side of things. What about those Bern-Outs who would LOVE to find an alternative to Hillary but feel compelled to vote for her because... Trump? Getting exposure for Gary Johnson would also pull in voters from that pool as well.
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David desJardins
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GameCrossing wrote:
But you are accounting for those who are on the Trump side of things. What about those Bern-Outs who would LOVE to find an alternative to Hillary but feel compelled to vote for her because... Trump? Getting exposure for Gary Johnson would also pull in voters from that pool as well.


It might conceivably matter to Bernie's supporters that Gary Johnson's positions are generally the exact opposite of Sanders'.
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Junior McSpiffy
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DaviddesJ wrote:
GameCrossing wrote:
But you are accounting for those who are on the Trump side of things. What about those Bern-Outs who would LOVE to find an alternative to Hillary but feel compelled to vote for her because... Trump? Getting exposure for Gary Johnson would also pull in voters from that pool as well.


It might conceivably matter to Bernie's supporters that Gary Johnson's positions are generally the exact opposite of Sanders'.


To some. But to others, their support of Sanders is likely the other side of the Trump coin, which is to say that they just want an outsider, someone who won't be the same thing we've had for two decades. Their disdain for Clinton may be more about conduct and perception than policy. And in an election where it is a pompous blowhard versus a corrupt bureaucrat, I think that there is a decent portion of those who supported Sanders, the ones who supported him for reasons beyond "I love the guy who will make CEO's pay for my student loans," might consider him because they believe culture matters more than policy.
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Jon Badolato
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I think Bernie supporters are more than smart enough to figure out that a vote for any third party candidate simply puts Trump closer to obtaining the White House. If there was ever a POTUS election NOT to vote third party in the past fifty years, this is surely it.
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Shawn Fox
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DaviddesJ wrote:
GameCrossing wrote:
But you are accounting for those who are on the Trump side of things. What about those Bern-Outs who would LOVE to find an alternative to Hillary but feel compelled to vote for her because... Trump? Getting exposure for Gary Johnson would also pull in voters from that pool as well.


It might conceivably matter to Bernie's supporters that Gary Johnson's positions are generally the exact opposite of Sanders'.

I find it funny that you claim positions actually matter to a high percentage of voters. Most voters don't know their ass from a hole in the ground, much less what the actual policy positions are for each political candidate.
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Junior McSpiffy
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jonb wrote:
I think Bernie supporters are more than smart enough to figure out that a vote for any third party candidate simply puts Trump closer to obtaining the White House. If there was ever a POTUS election NOT to vote third party in the past fifty years, this is surely it.


As I'd already pointed out before that is some pretty lazy thinking. But then, Sanders supporters also wanted to have college educations for free, so maybe you have a point. Not because of what you said about them being smart enough to figure it out... in fact the opposite. They are too shallow to look beyond the simplistic assertion that "not Hillary = Trump."
 
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Mac Mcleod
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I think this is exactly the time to vote 3rd party if you are in any state where your vote doesn't matter anyway. In my dream election, in every state where clinton had zero chance of winning, every clinton supporter would vote for johnson or stein.

I will probably be voting for Johnson as a Clinton supporter in texas.
https://www.texastribune.org/2016/06/27/poll-trump-leads-cli...
Quote:
Trump is ahead of Clinton 41 percent to 33 percent in a head-to-head matchup, the poll found. Nineteen percent indicated support for "someone else," and 8 percent said they "haven't thought about it enough to have an opinion."

Trump's advantage over Clinton narrows to 7 percentage points when Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson was added to the choices. He garners 7 percent support, leaving Trump with 39 percent and Clinton with 32 percent.

The previous two Republican nominees easily won Texas by double digits — John McCain by 12 in 2008 and Mitt Romney by 16 in 2012.


On the other hand... if it looks close I'll still vote for Clinton and there are signs of slippage even in Texas. Trump is doing an amazing job of fucking up his run. And in june trump was already way down compared to Romney and McCain.

http://www.mystatesman.com/news/news/in-texas-gop-angst-rise...
Quote:
Trump lost the support of some Republicans outside Texas this week, including U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna, R-N.Y., who said he’s voting for Clinton.

Both U.S. senators from Texas have made it clear that they are done talking about Trump and aren’t interested in joining the running commentary on his campaign controversies.
 
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David desJardins
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GameCrossing wrote:
But then, Sanders supporters also wanted to have college educations for free, so maybe you have a point. Not because of what you said about them being smart enough to figure it out... in fact the opposite.


Why does one have to be shallow to support free college education? Does one have to be shallow to support free high school?
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David desJardins
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maxo-texas wrote:
I think this is exactly the time to vote 3rd party if you are in any state where your vote doesn't matter anyway. In my dream election, in every state where clinton had zero chance of winning, every clinton supporter would vote for johnson or stein.


There are a hell of a lot of people who prefer almost everything about Hillary to either Gary Johnson or Jill Stein.

I'd have a tough time choosing between Trump, Johnson, or Stein. All of them are very distasteful. Hillary is by far the closest to my own views.
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Mac Mcleod
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DaviddesJ wrote:
maxo-texas wrote:
I think this is exactly the time to vote 3rd party if you are in any state where your vote doesn't matter anyway. In my dream election, in every state where clinton had zero chance of winning, every clinton supporter would vote for johnson or stein.


There are a hell of a lot of people who prefer almost everything about Hillary to either Gary Johnson or Jill Stein.

I'd have a tough time choosing between Trump, Johnson, or Stein. All of them are very distasteful. Hillary is by far the closest to my own views.


It's not a vote for the candidate. It's a message to the parties.

But I'm curious, if there was one principle point of disagreement with Johnson and Stein what it is. You are better informed about both candidates than I am.
 
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Jon Badolato
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GameCrossing wrote:
jonb wrote:
I think Bernie supporters are more than smart enough to figure out that a vote for any third party candidate simply puts Trump closer to obtaining the White House. If there was ever a POTUS election NOT to vote third party in the past fifty years, this is surely it.


As I'd already pointed out before that is some pretty lazy thinking. But then, Sanders supporters also wanted to have college educations for free, so maybe you have a point. Not because of what you said about them being smart enough to figure it out... in fact the opposite. They are too shallow to look beyond the simplistic assertion that "not Hillary = Trump."


My response to you in that other thread was this:



Let's not delve into the land of lollipops and candy canes here. None of what you speak is going to happen. If you want to change the system your best bet is to do it through appropriate legal channels to get it easier for third party systems to work and be more feasible. Wasting the vote isn't going to get you there.

And it still applies now.

And while I agree that in my state of CT. a vote for a third party candidate likely wouldn't have a major affect, that's most definitely not the case in battleground states, especially if the polls have or get to the point where Trump and Hillary are close. The fact is, in a battleground state a vote for a third party candidate could in fact mean "not Hillary=Trump" as you put it. That's just reality.
 
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David desJardins
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maxo-texas wrote:
But I'm curious, if there was one principle point of disagreement with Johnson and Stein what it is. You are better informed about both candidates than I am.


Johnson is a libertarian and I'm not. He still thinks the solution to every problem is smaller government. For example, although he admits climate change is real, he opposes any carbon limits in favor of some kind of voluntary action. Everyone just cut their emissions a bit and that will solve the problem? Come on. He also favors privatization of Social Security, public schools, etc.

Stein is the opposite. She still thinks the solution to every problem is more government. Medicare for All as a panacea, ignoring the vast issues with fraud and abuse. Unlimited spending on free college, regardless of whether students are actually prepared for it or learning. She doesn't really believe in science or even arithmetic. She also opposes any immigration limits or enforcement, is unwilling to help democracies in Europe that are threatened by Russia, and is in general astoundingly sympathetic to repressive regimes around the world.
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Junior McSpiffy
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jonb wrote:
GameCrossing wrote:
jonb wrote:
I think Bernie supporters are more than smart enough to figure out that a vote for any third party candidate simply puts Trump closer to obtaining the White House. If there was ever a POTUS election NOT to vote third party in the past fifty years, this is surely it.


As I'd already pointed out before that is some pretty lazy thinking. But then, Sanders supporters also wanted to have college educations for free, so maybe you have a point. Not because of what you said about them being smart enough to figure it out... in fact the opposite. They are too shallow to look beyond the simplistic assertion that "not Hillary = Trump."


My response to you in that other thread was this:



Let's not delve into the land of lollipops and candy canes here. None of what you speak is going to happen. If you want to change the system your best bet is to do it through appropriate legal channels to get it easier for third party systems to work and be more feasible. Wasting the vote isn't going to get you there.

And it still applies now.

And while I agree that in my state of CT. a vote for a third party candidate likely wouldn't have a major affect, that's most definitely not the case in battleground states, especially if the polls have or get to the point where Trump and Hillary are close. The fact is, in a battleground state a vote for a third party candidate could in fact mean "not Hillary=Trump" as you put it. That's just reality.


And I conceded (to Shadrach, I believe, who lives in Pennsylvania) that battleground states are different. My assertion doesn't hold as well there. I still would feel much better in voting my personal conscience for who I think would be the best president were I to live there, but I would readily concede that votes in those states are much more necessary as a vote between two choices.

But in... what.... 40?.... 43?... other states, yours and mine included, this is the perfect opportunity to use your vote to say "The system sucks, the choices both major parties have provided suck, and I really wish you'd stop doing this to us." If you want to express that sentiment (and I think it's one that many people feel this year), what other way, what better way, do we have to express it? Or do we not express it and hope, in that land of lollipops and candy canes, the parties decide to stop being so collectively dysfunctional and give us viable choices four years from now that we can be proud to support instead of just making sure it isn't the other guy?
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