In a general election campaign dominated by back-and-forth accusations of lies and bickering over temperament by the presumptive nominees of the major parties, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson has no plans to jump into the fray.
And he’s certain it will help him pick off some votes.
“Really, stick to the issues, stick to issues that are facing this country, and there are plenty,” Johnson, a former New Mexico governor, said Wednesday night at a town hall hosted by CNN, when talking about his long-shot campaign for the White House.
Johnson, who was also the Libertarian Party's nominee four years ago, is fighting for attention as Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, and Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, castigate each other daily in speeches and on social media.
More than candidates in past elections, Trump and Clinton are struggling to make voters like them.
Polls indicate neither is succeeding – a fact not lost on Johnson and his running mate, former Massachusetts GOP Gov. Bill Weld, who joined him at the town hall Wednesday. In low-key campaign appearances, both have called the two-party system broken and a major problem facing the country.
A CNN/ORC poll released this week showed voters disenchanted with Clinton and Trump – a trend that’s been consistent for both candidates throughout the primary and now into the general election. In the survey, 60% said they had an unfavorable view of Trump, compared with 56% for Clinton. By contrast, 15% had an unfavorable view of Johnson, but half said they'd never heard of him.