Defying the odds and past precedent, former New Mexico Governor and Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson will appear on the general election ballot in all 50 states and the District of Columbia for the first time since 1996.
First appearing on Colorado, Washington and California in 1972, the number of Libertarian Party presidential candidates on election ballots since has grown steadily. In 2012, Johnson’s name appeared 48 states and the District of Columbia, and was a write-in option in Michigan and Oklahoma.
Seizing the opportunity to promote his candidacy and thrust an argument to appear on the debate stage with fellow presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, Johnson issued a statement Tuesday announcing the news.
“With a majority of Americans wanting a choice other than Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, today we know for certain that on Election Day, every voter in America will have that alternative option. And today we also know that the only other option on every American voter’s ballot will be myself and Governor Weld,” said Johnson. “Gaining ballot access in all 50 states and the District of Columbia is a monumental task, as evidenced by the fact that we will be the only ticket after the Republicans and Democrats to do so.”
While overcoming the hurdle of appearing on the ballot in all 50 states, Johnson still faces a shortfall in opinion polls to qualify for presidential debates. The Commission on Presidential Debates demands third-party candidates hold an average of 15 percent support over five select polls.
Johnson currently stands at nine percent in three and four-way polls, while Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein toils around two percent.
[The Hill] [BuzzFeed News] [Photo courtesy Greg Nash/The Hill]