Libertarian Candidate Johnson Courts Sanders Supporters

Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson hopes to court Sen. Bernie Sanders supporters who don't want to vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton or Republican Donald Trump.

With Clinton claiming her party's nomination and rival Sanders under pressure to shut his campaign down so Democrats can unify, Johnson thinks at least some Sanders supporters might respond to his platform and ideas as the Libertarian candidate for president.

"For all those Bernie supporters out there, how about taking a look at the Libertarian ticket?" Johnson said during a June 8 appearance on CNN.

Sanders, a former governor of New Mexico, said he agrees with "73 percent" of what Sanders has been saying on the campaign trail, according to The Hill. His policies are a mix of ideas from the right and left, and says his major difference with Sanders is on economics. Libertarians advocate minimal government interference.

Johnson has also sounded some of the same notes as Sanders in questioning Clinton's record as a politician, and her effectiveness during her tenure as secretary of state. Like Sanders, Johnson has been critical of Clinton's choice to vote for the Iraq war in 2002.

"I do think that Hillary has been the architect of what is happening worldwide, and I don't think the world is any safer today," Johnson said.

Third-party candidates face an uphill battle, but Johnson's campaign touted polls that show he's already growing a small base of support. A Morning Consult poll in the first week of June found Johnson running at 10 percent in a three-way general election with Trump and Clinton, according to The Washington Post.

Johnson needs 15 percent support to make it to the big stage to debate with the major party nominees.

But Johnson wasn't the only one courting disappointed Sanders voters on June 7, after Clinton claimed primaries in California and New Jersey, and with them the nomination.

Trump, The Hill reported, said he would welcome Sanders supporters "with open arms," making a pitch to those "who have been left out in the cold by a rigged system of superdelegates."

Sources: The Hill, Washington Post / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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