Libertarian Gary Johnson bags money haul
Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson says he has reached one of his key objectives by raising more than $1.7 million with what his organizers called a "money bomb" Monday.
Johnson says he exceeded his announced goal of collecting $1.5 million, mostly within a 24-hour period. This should be enough to fund television ads in key states, strengthen Johnson's organization and to some extent demonstrate that he has grassroots appeal. Most of his contributions were from small donors, Johnson advisers say. He hopes to create enough momentum to get into the main presidential debates this fall.
While the total was solid, it fell short of past fundraising successes by former Libertarian candidate Ron Paul, such as when Paul raised $6 million during a 24-hour period in December 2007.
The Commission on Presidential Debates is sponsoring three debates in September and October. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump are guaranteed spots since they are both polling well above the 15 percent threshold that the commission has set for participation. Other candidates can qualify if they reach or exceed 15 percent in national polls. Johnson recently told U.S. News that the only way he can win the presidency is to get into the debates.
The commission has announced that the polls which will be used to determine who is in the debates will be those by ABC News/Washington Post, CBS News/New York Times, CNN, Fox News and NBC News/Wall Street Journal – five respected polling operations.
Johnson, the former Republican governor of New Mexico, gets nearly 10 percent in an average of the most recent commission-approved polls while Green Party candidate Jill Stein gets about 4.5 percent, according to fivethirtyeight.com. a political web site.
The final calculation determining who qualifies for the initial debate won't be made until mid-September. The first debate is scheduled for Sept. 26.
Johnson describes himself as conservative on fiscal issues, liberal on social issues and non-interventionist in foreign policy.
See Johnson through his political career: