Gary Johnson has won the endorsement of New Hampshire’s largest paper, as well as a majority in the paper’s online reader poll.
The Union Leader ended over a century-long tradition of backing the Republican Party nominee for president by snubbing Donald Trump in favor of the Libertarian Party’s candidate Gary Johnson. To add to this unprecedented turnaround, a sizable majority of the paper’s readers echoed the editorial board’s sentiments by indicating Johnson as the presidential candidate that most closely echoed their values, by a margin equal to support for both Clinton and Trump combined.
Johnson’s rise a result of two loathed major party candidates
The surge in support for Gary Johnson comes as a response to palpable dissatisfaction with both major political parties and the candidates they have fielded in 2016. Donald Trump in particular picked a fight with the Union Leader, calling its publisher Joe McQuaid “a real lowlife, there’s no question about it,” so it comes as no surprise that the publication’s editorial board would not want to do the Orange One any favors.
On the Democratic side of the equation, Hillary Clinton is similarly facing popularity troubles in the face of scandals, including mishandling of classified information, conspiracy with her party against Democratic #2 Bernie Sanders bordering on election rigging, and concerns over her health at recent public appearances.
Not all Granite Staters satisfied with Johnson
Despite what the Union Leader may indicate, however, Johnson still has a lot of headway to make up in the Live Free or Die State. Three-way polling in New Hampshire has Johnson at 10.8%, just a couple points higher than the national average of about 8.3%.
In addition, not all members of the Libertarian Party are happy with the Johnson/Weld ticket. Members of the LP Seacoast moved to petition the Libertarian National Committee to remove Bill Weld and possibly Gary Johnson from the presidential ticket.