Thoughts on the Current Race for the Libertarian Party Nomination
by Lee Enochs
The Libertarian Shaman
In just over a week, the Libertarian Party will come together collectively to select it’s nominee for President. As a person who has followed politics all his life, I believe the current race between Gary Johnson, Austin Petersen and John McAfee will go down to the wire.
While many media pundits just assume that Gary Johnson is the presumptive nominee for the Libertarian Party, recent polling and other evidence suggest that it will be a very close contest between former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson and Libertarian Republic founder Austin Petersen.
It is important to understand how the LP works:
The Libertarian Party nominee for president is selected at the Libertarian Party national convention. Libertarians from the 50 states and District of Columbia meet in Orlando during the final weekend of May. There are 1,047 delegates to the Libertarian National Convention and if all 1,047 delegates are seated, it will take 524 delegates to win the Party’s nomination.
In order to be nominated, you must have the written support of 30 delegates to the convention — no delegate may nominate more than one individual to fill the chair. In addition, if 30 signatures are gathered, one delegate may speak in favor of “none of the above.”
In the second round, the candidate with the fewest votes, and any candidate that has failed to receive five percent of the votes, is left off the ballot. That same process continues for all subsequent rounds until a candidate receives a majority.
Here is how Austin Petersen could win the Libertarian nomination in just over a week.
1. He could win 524 delegates on the first ballot.
2. He could win the 524 delegates in subsequent rounds as the candidates with the fewest votes is left off the additional ballot(s).
Just a thought. Let’s say neither Gary Johnson or Austin Petersen wins on the first ballot. In the second and other additional rounds, Petersen could potentially network with losing candidate (s) in attempt to have that candidate encourage delegates that voted for him in the earlier round (s) to vote for him and not Gary Johnson. If Petersen can cobble together his delegates with say, John McAfee’s, he may be able to reach 524 delegates and prevent Gary Johnson from reaching that majority himself.
I foresee a dramatic turn of events at the upcoming Libertarian National Convention with Austin Petersen potentially putting together a coalition of delegates from other candidates along with his own to put together the 524 delegates needed to secure the nomination.
The race between Gary Johnson and Austin Petersen is too close to call right now and anything can happen at the convention. Watch and see.
It should be interesting to say the least…
Lee Enochs is the Editor-In-Chief of The Libertarian Shaman and also writes a daily Op/Ed column for the Libertarian Republic called, “The Libertarian Perspective.” Lee is also the author of the books, “The Case for Rand Paul,” and, “A Biblical Defense of Capitalism.” Lee is also a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and is currently a graduate student in Princeton, New Jersey where he studies political philosophy and theology for the glory of God.