Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Campaign Trail 2016: The Libertarian Party National Convention

The Libertarian Party is the first out of all the political parties to hold their National Convention to officially select their nominee for president for the general election on November 8, 2016. The Libertarian National Convention started on May 27th and will run until May 30th at the Rosen Centre Hotel and Resort in Orlando, Florida.

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, who was the 2012 Libertarian presidential nominee, is the 2016 Libertarian Party presidential nominee. Former Massachusetts Governor William Weld is the 2016 Libertarian Party vice presidential nominee.

The next challenge for Johnson is to be included in the general election debates. The debates require that a candidate needs to have 15 percent support in five national polls to be included. Johnson is entering the general election in a good place. Prior to him receiving the nomination he was included in two national polls, the Monmouth University poll where he received 11 percent support and the FOX News poll where he received ten percent support.

Unlike the Republicans and Democrats who rely on a series of primaries and caucuses to award delegates to the candidates prior to the National Convention, the Libertarian party essentially has what the Republicans and Democrats would call a contested convention where the delegates vote at the convention for their candidate and a series of rounds determine the eventual winner. Only six states held Libertarian primaries or caucuses, all of which were non-binding.

The two big days of the convention are the 28th and 29th, as over those two days the presidential nominee and vice presidential nominee are selected. The field of candidates vying for the presidential nominee was almost as big as the Republican field was when the race first started with 17 candidates. Prior to the convention three candidates suspended their campaign bringing their field down to 14 at the beginning of the convention.

Saturday the 28th, the first round of presidential nominee voting was held and a candidate must have 30 votes from delegates to continue into the next round. Six of the candidates received enough votes to continue. Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson came in first with 30.5 percent of the votes. Founder and owner of The Libertarian Republic Austin Petersen came in second with 14.3 percent of the votes. Owner and Managing Editor of Free Press Publications Darryl Perry came in third with 14.2 percent of the votes. Founder of McAfee, Inc. John McAfee came in fourth with 13.1 percent of the votes. Anesthesiologist Marc Allen Feldman came in fifth with 12 percent of the votes and technology industry employee Kevin McCormick came in sixth with 6.1 percent of the votes.

The top five finishers competed in a debate at the convention Saturday night that was also broadcast on C-SPAN. Sunday morning in the second round of voting no candidate received the required majority vote and Kevin McCormick was eliminated leaving five candidates left for the third round. In the third round, the second round of Sunday, Gary Johnson won the 2016 Libertarian party nomination for president.

The Libertarian vice presidential contest was the most hotly contested competition at the convention. Three of the nine vice presidential candidates are attached to presidential candidates, which doesn't mean that if their presidential candidate gets the nomination that they will too. Former Massachusetts Governor William Weld is running with Governor Gary Johnson. Blogger and self described hustler Judd Weiss is running with John McAfee. The Call to Freedom radio host William Coley is running with Darryl Perry. The candidates running for vice president with no attachment are Alicia Dearn, Daniel Hogan, Kerry Douglas McKennon, Jeff Mortenson, Larry Sharpe, Derrick Grayson, and Mark Stewart.

Saturday night, the vice presidential candidates that received at least ten percent support participated in a debate. William Weld received 25.5 percent support, executive business consultant Larry Sharpe received 25.3 percent support, trial lawyer Alicia Dearn received 18 percent support and William Coley received 10.3 percent support. To qualify for the vice presidential elections on Sunday, candidates must get a minimum of 30 delegates to vote for them prior to Sundays voting. On Sunday, William Weld, Larry Sharpe, Alicia Dearn, William Coley, Judd Weiss, and Derrick Grayson all qualified. The first round of voting on Sunday resulted with no winner. On the second round, Weld won with 50.5 percent of the vote.

The Republican party will be the next to hold their National Convention at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, from July 18th through the 21st. Billionaire Donald Trump has secured the required delegates for the nomination from the Republican party. The Democratic party will follow the Republicans holding their National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from July 25th through the 28th. As of the time of writing, former New York Senator Hillary Clinton is the presumptive Democratic nominee. The Green Party will be having their National Convention at the University of Houston in Houston, Texas, from August 4th through the 7th. As of the time of writing Jill Stein is the presumptive Green Party nominee.

No comments:

Post a Comment