While Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson was progressing in the polls, it would appear he may have reached a ceiling. His national polling is now averaging between 8 to 10 percent. Johnson has been polling above 15 percent in several states; however, has not been able to bring those same numbers to the national stage.
Johnson was on a trajectory to reach past 15 percent until recent behaviors have not gone over well. Though they are all clearly his own doing, they strangely have all happened on MSNBC.
Johnson’s first major slip was on MSNBC’s Morning Joe when asked his opinion about Aleppo — not being able to connect Aleppo as a war zone in Syria. Then, he stuck his tongue out strangely, during an interview with Kasie Hunt. Last night, on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews, Johnson had another “Aleppo moment” when he could not name one foreign leader he respected. It wasn’t that he didn’t respect any foreign leaders, it was clear he could not name any. His running mate, Bill Weld, came to the rescue naming Angela Merkel of Germany. Some are speculating that he needs to get back to smoking marijuana so he can get his groove back.
Many were willing to forgive Johnson for his “Aleppo moment” as everyone, including politicians, have situations where they just blank out even though they would otherwise know the answer to the question. It is clear from social media postings, he is not being given that out for not knowing any foreign leaders he respects.
So, while Johnson was a very popular two-term Governor of New Mexico, Johnson is struggling to be seen as the next “leader of the free world.” There is little wrong with the broad strokes of his foreign policy as it is mostly consistent with that of the Libertarian Party, but his basic knowledge of the players involved is concerning to many. Johnson wants to bring home half of the U.S. military from across the globe while ending our intervention in the Middle East.
Johnson needs his national poll numbers to reach at least 15 percent to be included in the second and third presidential debates. That is a challenge since, for example, 56 percent of Floridians have either never heard his name or know so little about him, cannot form an opinion whether to support him or not. This is a failure of the media by not fully educating the voting public about all three candidates who will appear on the ballot in all 50 states.