Libertarian Gary Johnson likely to appear on November ballot in Ohio

Voters in downtown Youngstown say they're not too familiar with the Libertarian candidate, but are willing to listen


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – With both major party candidates receiving some of the highest unfavorable ratings in history, voters could be looking for an alternative to the Democratic and Republican candidates.

The website Real Clear Politics is reporting that both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have unfavorable ratings over 50 percent, according to its polling.

“Honestly, I believe…this election, more than any one in history, is more of a joke,” said Logan Mondi, of Youngstown.

Ohio voters will likely have another choice on the ballot in November: Libertarian Gary Johnson.

Independent candidates for president must file their candidacy by mid March to be on the Ohio ballot, but the Libertarian Party didn’t select their candidate until the end of May.

It chose Charlie Earl to be a temporary placeholder but on Tuesday, the candidate will be Gary Johnson, who got approval from Ohio’s Secretary of State to replace Earl.

“The Republicans and the Democrats have done us the wonderful favor of picking the two least attractive candidates they could come up with,” said John Fockler with the Libertarian Party.

Johnson, a former governor of New Mexico, is running as an Independent in Ohio because the state doesn’t recognize parties that don’t get at least three percent of the vote in prior elections.

Recent polls have Johnson collecting 5 to 12 percent in Ohio.

Voters in downtown Youngstown say they’re not too familiar with the Libertarian candidate, but are willing to listen.

“Now that you told me about that, I’m willing to do some research and see who is running, and see what they’re about and see if my vote will go toward them,” Brandon Lewis said.

Minor parties are aware that people not knowing who they are is a major issue. Fockler says the solution will be getting into the presidential debates in the fall.

To qualify for the debates, a candidate must be polling an average of at least 15 percent. Currently, Johnson is garnering 9 to 10 percent.

Another minor party is the Green Party. Its candidate, Jill Stein, is getting a little less than 3 percent of votes.

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