Former Governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson has been toying with running for president a second time after his 2012 showing of .99% of the vote as the Libertarian Party’s presidential nominee.
While not being able to break 1% of the vote seems terrible, for the Libertarian Party, it was the second best campaign in the history of the party.
In 1980, Ed Clark running with David Koch broke the 1% barrier by obtaining 1.07% of the vote.
The relative success of the Clark/Koch campaign was due to the funding available from David Koch of Koch Industries – one of the two Koch Brothers maligned by the left.
Johnson, who showed at the GOP debates in 2012, dropped from the Republican Party to run as a third party candidate – choosing to align himself with the Libertarian Party.
Johnson accepted presidential matching funds, which is frowned upon by libertarians, but still ended the campaign with nearly a quarter million in debt.
Unlike Republicans and Democrats, Libertarians pride themselves in fiscal responsibility so running a 10% deficit is not a strong indicator of competence for a Libertarian candidate.
For comparison, in 2012, Mitt Romney ended with $3 million in debt, .8% of his total funds raised. Barak Obama also ended his campaign with a .8% campaign deficit.
Johnson was over ten times more irresponsible with his funds than the major party candidates.
While the metric is not a fair comparison due to the rules of scale, Johnson does have a strong record of fiscal responsibility as New Mexico’s governor.
Johnson left his position with a balanced budget for the state, along with a budget surplus.
He also cut 1,200 government jobs and increased the state’s general reserve ten fold.
Several other candidates are seeking the Libertarian Party’s nomination, although Gary Johnson is positioned to be the clear winner.