How Many Votes Did Gary Johnson Get in the Presidential Election?

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - AUGUST 6: Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson talks to a crowd of supporters at a rally on August 6, 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Johnson has spent the day campaigning in Salt Lake City, the home town of former republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)


Gary Johnson ran an impressive campaign during the presidential election, attracted a strong number of independent voters who felt disenfranchised by the establishment. Gary Johnson did sometimes get featured unfavorably in the news, such as with his now notorious Aleppo comment. And at times, his running mate Bill Weld seemed to almost encourage people to vote for Hillary Clinton instead.

But despite all of this, Johnson ran a strong campaign and got a lot of votes. Exactly how well did he do?

According to the latest results, Johnson brought in 4,042,291 votes. That’s a huge jump over his 2012 campaign, when he brought in 1.2 million votes. Unfortunately, his current number of votes comes in at 3.2 percent, just shy of the 5 percent he needs to qualify the Libertarian party for federal funding in the next election. He did not get any electoral votes.

His highest percentages were in New Mexico at 9.3 percent and North Dakota at 6.3 percent. He also had a few states coming in at over 5 percent.

Johnson may not have gotten 5 percent, but he’s demonstrating that the Libertarians are on an upward trend. And as some supporters have pointed out, with 4 million votes, if every person donated $5, they’d have $20 million in donations and wouldn’t need federal funding for the next presidential election.

Presidential Election Results & Electoral College Map

Several key states remain too close to call as polls close around the country. See the state-by-state electoral map here.

Click here to read more

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  1. This doesn’t show libertarianism to be on an upward trend, regardless of whether it actually is.

    Johnson was such a shitty candidate that libertarians mostly disliked him. Most of his increased vote was just people who hated Trump AND Clinton and wanted to express it.

    • Yeah that is why the party got more votes than ever in history. And most of the increase for the party support was the people who turned off MSM and did their own research, thought for themselves and liked what Johnson had to say. Most of his voters have woken up to the screw job the two party system is doing to us. Sure I bet there for some who got to the polls seen someone other than Trump or Clintn and voted that way. But the 3+million of voters that voted for him. Most of us did it to make America Sane again.

      • I’m sure he will take the blame for her loss. Like Hitler and Nixon he won by getting the people who never voted to come out and vote. He spoke to all the people who didn’t get polled because they haven’t voted in years but whose views had been under attack at one time or another for the last eight years. They didn’t so much vote for him as they voted against what they saw as a threat to their values. Plenty of republicans like myself voted for Johnson and most likely vote against trump again in four years.

        • Hitler didn’t win an election. He ran against Hindenberg and lost, but his party won the largest voting block in the legislature (about 1/3). Hindenberg wanted to quit, but his party convinced him to stay as President because they felt he was the only person who could keep the Nazi’s at bay. Hidenberg was old, though, and didn’t want to run another election. Thankfully (wut?) they legislature had the power to suspend elections, but because the Nazi’s had such a large voting block, they couldn’t do it without their support. So Hindenberg offered Hitler the position of Chanceler in exchange for canceling the next Presidental election. And the Nazi’s agreed! After that, there was a fire in the legislative building that was blamed on the communists, an emergency election was held and the Nazis took full control, outlawed communists and went hog wild.

      • Yup. That’s exactly how I felt too. Gary Johnson would have been a much better President than either Hillary or Trump. He’s more qualified to run the country than Trump (Ouch!) and more honest than Hillary. I was really hoping for an upset, but not the one we got.

        • I really am disappointed we didn’t get the 5% needed. That would have been the signal to the political stage that we’re tired of the 2 party monopoly. Actually thought we would be at least 10%. Disappointed but not giving in. The libertarian party needs to focus on the house and senate, where it can grow membership.

          • It’s almost the end of Nov and we’re still weeks away from final election tallys. It takes a long time to finish counting all the absentee and early votes and well as certify close races. Both Clinton and Johnson have increased their percentage, and Johnson might still get 5%.

          • The libertarian party needs to focus on replacing plurality voting with Range Voting (aka Score Voting). 3rd parties won’t have a chance until we change how we vote.

            Maine just got Instant Run Off which is a system that helps prevent weak third parties from “spoiling” an election between two main contenders, but the spoiler effects come back as soon as the third party starts doing well. IRV is just another way to preserve the 2-party dominance.

            3rd parties need to put support behind any of Range Voting, Condorcet, Ranked Pairs, Approval, Path Voting (aka Schultze Method for Ranked Choice), Two-Round, or Equal Vote. I think Range is best (simple, almost always elects the Condorcet winner, spoiler-proof, clone-proof), but really any on this list has been shown to inhibit 2-party dominance.

      • > Yeah that is why the party got more votes than ever in history

        That ignores what I just said, which already refutes it.

        They got only twice as many votes, despite there being ten times that number of people who wanted desperately to vote for someone other than Trump and Clinton.

        This is because they were bad. They were only token libertarians, corrupt, and incompetent. Typical national Libertarian Party…ironic, since they are NOT actually LP, but are failed Republicans carpetbagging the party.

        > And most of the increase for the party support was
        > the people who turned off MSM and did their own research,
        > thought for themselves and liked what Johnson had to say.

        Based on what…your experience as someone who talks to their circle on facebook?

        The increase was mostly people who simply hated Trump and Clinton. MANY were voting for Johnson as a protest, not out of support for his incompetence.

        • I disagree. It was the inherent fear mongering nature of Plurality Voting. The Plurality system has always used a degree of fear to motivate people to stick to one of two parties, but if that fear was originally a little 19th century stove that used to only flare up sometimes, since 1996, liquid oxygen had been increasingly thrown into it. The internet age amps up the fear factor by several orders of magnitude, killing reason, creating increasingly extreme and uncompromising candidates that use that fear above all else to keep people in the two camps, even when a majority clearly want something in between these extremes, in the end fear wins out for most of them, which then turns to fury when they lose. Don’t think it can’t get worse. I fully expect someone even more extreme then Hillary, Sanders or Obama to be the dem nominee in four years.
          No, Plurality+Internet+time=FATALITY, Civil War will be inevitable, and possibly the disintegration of the Union.
          To stop this, we HAVE to instill a new way of voting, one that takes fear out of the equation. Rank Choice Voting, or maybe its cousin, Approval Voting, are the only possible solutions. Maine is experimenting with Rank Choice Voting this year on the local level, and it appears to be a success, but, frankly, we can’t wait 6-8 years for other states to dabble on before putting it up for national Referendum. We have to have it in place at least for all states by next midterm. That means we have to have a Special Ballot on the matter ready to vote on by this time next year, so the new system can be in place by midterms. This will force candidates to radically alter their tactics for winning over voters. Using fear will not win people over via Rank Voting, quite the opposite, it tends to at least make them the second choice, usually third or worse. Someone like Trump or Hillary could not get anywhere that way.

        • People who protest vote don’t tend to donate money(libertarians raised more money than ever.) So…. Your derogatory statements makes no sense.

  2. The main media concentrated on HC & DT because they (the main media) are owned by the Dems. & the Republicans. No third party will be viable without exposure. The internet will make it much easier for a third party to accumulate a following here in the US of A. For Gary Johnson to come up with 3.2% of the popular vote shows how much the average citizen dislikes the political parties that are now in power. Remember that the fastest growing political party in the US of A is the Decline to State with more voters than either the Dems. or Republicans!

  3. 3rd parties are extremely important to our election process and was especially so this year because of concerns about the character and the policies of both Clinton and Trump.

    For the most part, biased media and their polling system is to blame for the outcome because of almost exclusive exposure given to the major party candidates. The corrupt R & D run debate commission knowingly set the 15% polling threshold for invitations on stage, insurmountable without equal and fair media coverage and inclusive polling questions. Turnout was high and motivated for change and were fed Trump as their only option!

    Okay, we’ve got a Republican House, Senate, and President! No gridlock excuses! Let’s see them work to regain manufacturing jobs; lower taxes; implement new policies outlined during campaigning; protect us from criminals, drug dealers, and deadbeats; eliminate terrorism; end the wars abroad and bring our military men and women home! I hope for the voters’ that elected him, Trump stops whining, pulls up his big boy pants, and delivers on his promises!

    • > For the most part, biased media and their polling system is
      > to blame for the outcome because of almost exclusive exposure given to the major party candidates.

      Wrong. Far larger factors are the barriers the corrupt political class has set up to keep out third parties, like ballot access laws, and gerrymandering, which takes independents into consideration as well as packing the ruling party.

      Likewise, the Electoral College makes third party success almost impossible. After Clinton lost with a plurality of the popular vote, you’ll see FAR fewer people willing to vote third party next time, just like in 1992, 1996, and 2000, each of which had declining third party votes.

      • Not sure why the US persists with the Electoral College. It was useful in the 19th century when all you had was the Pony Express and Wells Fargo. You needed to send delegates to Washington to cast their state votes. Why not use the popular vote to decide? 50%+1 gets elected. To deal with scenarios where 50% isn’t achieved, use a 2nd preference. Given the votes for Libertarian and Green, Trump would probably have won on the 2nd preferences. The big issue with your current system is that it’s pointless turning out to vote Rep in California or Dem in Utah as the 2nd party only gets at most 30%. Use the popular vote and every vote counts. More people vote. This is what they do in France

  4. I was watching CNN or Fox News yesterday and they interviewed a college student who was going to vote for Stein, but his fellow students convinced him this “was not the year to vote third party”. If not now, when? Sheeple!

  5. For those seeking a reason for our poor showing this election. You should add straight party voting to your litany of woes. Many told me that they voted straight Republican to vote against Hillary. No amount of persuasion could shake it. They just get mad. Somebody convinced them that Hillary could infiltrate the down ballot races. I suggest that as a check on this, compare the lowest Republican voting statewide in your county to the Republican vote for the winner. Subtract the statewide total, and see how close you came. To be fair, you should also subtract the Libertarian vote for that statewide race from your own. I think you can skip this step, though, for liberty minded folk will support you.
    Worse yet, those who started that rumor about straight party votes switching to Hillary played us all, for the only way to make sure was vote straight party and check. Never happened, of course, but that killed Mark Miller’s chances in Texas. I guarantee it. 4.1 million straight party voters voted Republican. WELL PLAYED! Damn
    I wrote this for Texas candidates, but wonder if Gary Johnson’s votes were limited by this phenomenon in a dozen states, most importantly Pennsylvania and Michigan, that allow straight ticket voting. Down ballot Libertarians also would be effected.

  6. Johnson is a terrible candidate and Weld is a hot mess. I lean way more Libertarian than anything else but you don’t just get to show up every 4 years and say “pick me, pick me” and expect to collect votes. The LP absolutely HAS to start at the grassroots level by fielding candidates for local and state elections to show what they can do before they ever stand any chance of having a candidate elected to the highest office. Without a proven track record of accomplishments, they can say anything they want but they will remain a marginal party until the end of time. Or another Democrat presidency which is essentially the same thing…

    • Ur new to libertarian I can tell because if u new absolutely anything about them u would have known that Carla Howell libertarian ran against Ted Kennedy for state Senate back in 2000 and got 12 % of the vote she also went for and tried for governor as well oh if u did not know Gary Johnson was governed for new Mexico and weld was a governor for mass so this track record this ur saying don’t make sense they are trying and I know they will have a big year in 2020 :)

  7. Johnson and Weld were probably not ideal, but both of them being former two-term governors gave them credibility as capable executives. Their performance in this election, achieving 3.2 percent and getting over 4 million votes, is the best of any Libertarian Party candidate ever. They presented a worthwhile alternative to the lowlifes nominated by the major parties.

  8. The whole thing is Bill Weld was a good running mate yet he was too partisan with Hillary Clinton which turned people off. Afterwards withdrawals from the election two days beforehand. A real flake right there. Johnson stumbled then bumbled towards the end. He could’ve ran a little stronger campaign, could’ve been more in sight of his motives towards the two party system. Johnson could’ve made some real noise had more people known about him as well., He won’t run in 2020 yet who could run against Trump in 2020 from Libertarian Party? Perhaps a former Republican yet why vote for someone who disguises themselves as something else when you’re getting the same blah, blah, blah.