For some, it’s never too early to talk about the 2020 presidential election, given what we’ve witnessed in 2016.
That’s exactly what libertarians are doing through the website A Libertarian Future. In a new poll, survey participants overwhelmingly support Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) to run on the libertarian ticket in 2020 against President-elect Donald Trump over their 2016 candidate Gary Johnson.
Libertarians prefer the Kentucky senator with 33 percent over the former New Mexico governor at 10 percent. Austin Petersen, runner-up to the libertarian nomination in 2016, got 27 percent support in the poll.
Johnson’s running mate, former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, got nine percent support.
During the campaign, Johnson and Weld were a serious third party threat for Trump and Clinton until a series of gaffes set them back.
In September, Johnson infamously went on MSNBC’s Morning Joe and asked “What is Aleppo?” The roundtable of hosts and pundits were aghast and bewildered. Johnson later clarified saying he confused the city with an acronym for something else. He admitted to Mark Halperin afterwards that he was “incredibly frustrated with himself.”
Rand Paul, on the other hand, ran a failed presidential campaign for the Republican nomination, which he suspended after coming in 5th in the Iowa caucuses. Paul won his re-election bid for the Senate, and has continued to inject libertarian ideology into the Republican Party.
Before it was announced that Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson and former UN ambassador to the UN John Bolton would lead the State Department, Paul pledged to block Bolton’s nomination.
I am a no on John Bolton for ANY position in the State Departement and will work to defeat his nomination to any post.— Dr. Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 11, 2016
On ABC’s This Week, Paul said, “John Bolton doesn’t get it. He still believes in regime change. He’s still a big cheerleader for the Iraq War. John Bolton is so far out of it and has such a naive understanding of the world.”
While America’s foreign policy wasn’t the top issue for most, Paul’s consistency plays well with voters.
If Kanye West and The Rock push back their plans to run for president, Libertarians may finally see their window open in a Rand candidacy.