Libertarian Party US Presidential Election Results

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LP-presidential-results-graph-1972-to-2016.png

Overview

Since 1972, there have been 10 different Libertarian Presidential nominees, in 12 elections. (Two candidates were nominated twice.) In 1972, the LP's first Presidential candidate John Hospers received the first and only electoral vote in the party's history when one "faithless elector" voted for him. The first candidate to break the one percent mark was Ed Clark in 1980. This remained the best showing both as a percentage and in raw number of votes until 2012, when Gary Johnson became the first candidate to receive more than one million votes (but just shy of one percent). Running again in 2016, Gary Johnson then beat the previous record by both measures by a wide margin, receiving more than three percent and more than four million votes.

1972 Presidential Election

In 1972, the Libertarian Party was barely organized and was still in its infant stage. The Presidential Nominee was John Hospers. The Vice Presidential Nominee was Tonie Nathan. The ticket was only on the ballot in 2 states and received one electoral vote from a faithless elector in Virginia.

1976 Presidential Election

By 1976, the party had started to organize and was able to mount a more solid campaign for president. The nominee was Roger MacBride, the same faithless elector who voted for John Hospers in the last election. The Vice Presidential Nominee was David Bergland. The pair managed to gain ballot access in 32 states and was able to gain more than 100,000 votes, a milestone for the relatively new political party.

1980 Presidential Election

EdClark.jpg

The 1980 Presidential Election was another major milestone for the Libertarian Party. The Party nominated Ed Clark for President and David Koch for Vice President. The campaign was largely self financed and was able to run several national television advertisements. The ticket gained ballot access in all 50 states. In Alaska, the ticket gained 11.66% of the vote.

1984 Presidential Election

Bergland, David.jpg

At the 1984 National Convention, many Libertarians walked out, leading many to suspect the end of the party was near. As a result of the walkout, David Bergland was nominated for President and Jim Lewis was nominated for Vice President. The ticket had ballot access in 36 states.

1988 Presidential Election

RonPaul2011.jpg

In a nomination contest that featured candidates with very different backgrounds and styles, and was also seen by some as a choice between presenting a "right" or "left" image, former Congressman Ron Paul was selected over American Indian activist Russell Means as the Presidential Nominee for 1988. Andre Marrou, one of the few Libertarians who had been elected to a state legislature, was the Vice Presidential Nominee. The campaign raised over $2,000,000 and was on the ballot in 46 states.

1992 Presidential Election

Marrou-1988-Richmond.jpg

For the 1992 Election, the previous vice-presidential candidate and former Alaska legislator Andre Marrou was nominated as the Presidential Candidate. Nancy Lord was nominated as the Vice Presidential Candidate. The ticket gained ballot access in all 50 states.[1]

1996 Presidential Election

HarryBrowne-LP.JPG

Harry Browne was the Presidential Nominee in 1996 and his running mate was Jo Jorgensen. Partly due to personal financial support by the candidate, the campaign was able to get on the ballot in all 50 states.

2000 Presidential Election

HarryBrowne-LP.JPG

Harry Browne was re-nominated as the Presidential Nominee in 2000 but chose Art Olivier as his running mate. The campaign had some controversy surrounding it after the National Director was found to have worked on the campaign in 1996 before Harry Browne's candidacy had been decided. The campaign nearly got on the ballot in all 50 states again but a split with the Arizona Chapter caused Harry Browne to be replaced on the ticket with another Libertarian.

2004 Presidential Election

SI-MichaelBadnarik1 (allowed for open usage).JPG

At the 2004 Convention, the Presidential Nomination Election was very close. The race was between Michael Badnarik, Gary Nolan, and Aaron Russo. All three candidates were within 2% of each other for the first two ballots. However, Michael Badnarik made a surprising comeback and won the nomination. In a separate nomination, Richard Campagna was chosen as the vice presidential nominee. During the election cycle, Badnarik raised over $1,000,000 and ran national television ads on CNN and Fox news. The ticket gained ballot access in 48 states but didn't gain access in New Hampshire or Oklahoma.

2008 Presidential Election

Bob Barr-2008.jpg

Bob Barr was nominated as the Presidential Nominee in 2008 with Wayne Allyn Root nominated as the Vice Presidential Candidate. The Barr campaign was expected to do very well but due to several factors such as Sarah Palin's nomination as McCain's VP, Ron Paul's dropping of his endorsement of Barr, and the campaign's lack of advertising. The campaign still raised nearly $1.4 million dollars but didn't get as many votes as many Libertarian Leaders felt it could have. The ticket was on the ballot in 44 states.

2012 Presidential Election

Gary Johnson campaign portrait.jpg

Gary Johnson, former governor of New Mexico, was nominated in 2012, with Jim Gray as his running mate. The ticket was on the ballot in all but two states, and became the first to receive more than one million votes, and the first to break the record for that measure set 32 years earlier by Ed Clark.

2016 Presidential Election

Gary Johnson campaign portrait.jpg

Gary Johnson was nominated again in 2016, this time with William Weld as his running mate. This was seen by some as the LP's most "credible" national ticket ever, with both candidates being former governors, but others saw the inclusion of Weld as a dilution of the party's brand. For the first time since 2000, the LP had a presidential ticket on the ballot in all 50 states. In an election that was very close between front-runners Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, but with many voters unhappy about that choice, the LP's team achieved a record-breaking three percent of the national vote, receiving the votes of almost 4.5 million people.

Results by state and candidate

1972
John Hospers /
Theodora Nathan
1976
Roger MacBride /
David Bergland
1980
Ed Clark /
David Koch
1984
David Bergland /
James Lewis
1988
Ron Paul /
Andre Marrou
1992
Andre Marrou /
Nancy Lord
1996
Harry Browne /
Jo Jorgensen
2000
Harry Browne /
Art Olivier
2004
Michael Badnarik /
Richard Campagna
2008
Bob Barr /
Wayne Allyn Root
2012
Gary Johnson /
Jim Gray
2016
Gary Johnson /
William Weld
Alabama 1,481
0.13%
13,318
0.99%
9,504
0.66%
8,460
0.61%
5,737
0.34%
5,290
0.34%
5,893
0.35%
3,529
0.19%
4,991
0.24%
12,328
0.59%
44,467
2.09%
Alaska 68
0.07%
6,785
5.49%
18,479
11.66%
6,378
3.07%
5,484
2.74%
1,378
0.53%
2,276
0.94%
2,636
0.92%
1,675
0.54%
1,589
0.49%
7,392
2.46%
18,725
5.88%
Arizona 7,647
1.03%
18,784
2.15%
10,585
1.03%
13,351
1.14%
6,759
0.46%
14,358
1.02%
*5,775
0.38%
11,856
0.59%
12,555
0.55%
32,100
1.39%
106,327
4.13%
Arkansas 8,970
1.07%
2,221
0.25%
3,297
0.40%
1,261
0.13%
3,076
0.35%
2,781
0.30%
2,352
0.22%
4,776
0.44%
16,276
1.52%
29,949
2.65%
California 980
0.01%
56,388
0.72%
148,390
1.73%
49,951
0.53%
70,105
0.71%
48,139
0.43%
73,600
0.73%
45,520
0.42%
50,165
0.40%
67,582
0.50%
143,221
1.10%
478,500
3.37%
Colorado 1,111
0.12%
5,338
0.49%
25,744
2.17%
11,257
0.87%
15,482
1.13%
8,669
0.55%
12,392
0.82%
12,799
0.73%
7,664
0.36%
10,898
0.45%
35,545
1.38%
144,121
5.18%
Connecticut 10
0.00%
209
0.02%
8,570
0.61%
204
0.01%
14,071
0.97%
5,391
0.33%
5,788
0.42%
3,484
0.24%
3,367
0.21%
12,580
0.81%
48,676
2.96%
Delaware 34
0.01%
1,974
0.84%
268
0.11%
1,162
0.47%
935
0.32%
2,052
0.76%
774
0.24%
586
0.16%
1,109
0.27%
3,882
0.94%
14,757
3.34%
D. C. 274
0.16%
1,104
0.63%
279
0.13%
554
0.29%
467
0.21%
588
0.32%
669
0.33%
502
0.22%
2,083
0.71%
4,906
1.58%
Florida 39
0.00%
103
0.00%
30,524
0.83%
754
0.02%
19,796
0.46%
15,079
0.28%
23,965
0.45%
16,415
0.28%
11,996
0.16%
17,218
0.21%
44,726
0.53%
207,043
2.20%
Georgia 23
0.00%
175
0.01%
15,627
0.98%
159
0.01%
8,435
0.47%
7,110
0.31%
17,870
0.78%
36,332
1.40%
18,387
0.56%
28,731
0.73%
45,324
1.16%
125,306
3.05%
Hawaii 3,923
1.35%
3,269
1.08%
2,167
0.65%
1,999
0.56%
1,119
0.30%
2,493
0.69%
1,477
0.40%
1,377
0.32%
1,314
0.29%
3,840
0.88%
15,954
3.72%
Idaho 3,558
1.04%
8,425
1.93%
2,823
0.69%
5,313
1.30%
1,167
0.24%
3,325
0.68%
3,488
0.70%
3,844
0.64%
3,658
0.56%
9,453
1.45%
28,331
4.10%
Illinois 46
0.00%
8,057
0.17%
38,939
0.82%
10,086
0.21%
14,944
0.33%
9,218
0.18%
22,548
0.52%
11,623
0.25%
32,442
0.62%
19,642
0.36%
56,229
1.07%
209,596
3.79%
Indiana 19,627
0.88%
6,741
0.30%
7,936
0.34%
15,632
0.73%
15,530
0.71%
18,058
0.73%
29,257
1.06%
50,111
1.91%
133,993
4.90%
Iowa 1,454
0.11%
13,123
1.00%
1,844
0.14%
2,494
0.20%
1,076
0.08%
2,315
0.19%
3,209
0.24%
2,992
0.20%
4,590
0.30%
12,926
0.82%
59,186
3.78%
Kansas 3,242
0.34%
14,470
1.48%
3,329
0.33%
12,553
1.26%
4,314
0.37%
4,557
0.42%
4,525
0.42%
4,013
0.34%
6,706
0.54%
20,456
1.76%
55,406
4.68%
Kentucky 814
0.07%
5,531
0.43%
3
0.00%
2,118
0.16%
4,513
0.30%
4,009
0.29%
2,896
0.19%
2,619
0.15%
5,989
0.33%
17,063
0.95%
53,752
2.79%
Louisiana 3,134
0.25%
8,240
0.53%
1,876
0.11%
4,115
0.25%
3,155
0.18%
7,499
0.42%
2,951
0.17%
2,781
0.14%
18,157
0.91%
37,978
1.87%
Maine 1
0.00%
12
0.00%
5,119
0.98%
3
0.00%
2,700
0.49%
1,681
0.25%
2,996
0.49%
3,074
0.47%
1,965
0.27%
251
0.03%
9,352
1.31%
38,105
5.09%
Maryland 255
0.02%
14,192
0.92%
5,721
0.34%
6,748
0.39%
4,715
0.24%
8,765
0.49%
5,310
0.26%
6,094
0.26%
9,842
0.37%
30,195
1.12%
79,605
2.86%
Massachusetts 43
0.00%
135
0.01%
22,038
0.87%
24,251
0.92%
9,021
0.32%
20,426
0.80%
16,366
0.61%
15,022
0.52%
13,189
0.43%
30,920
0.98%
138,018
4.15%
Michigan 54
0.00%
5,407
0.15%
41,597
1.06%
10,055
0.26%
18,336
0.50%
10,175
0.24%
27,670
0.72%
16,711
0.39%
10,552
0.22%
23,716
0.47%
7,774
0.16%
172,136
3.59%
Minnesota 35
0.00%
3,529
0.18%
31,593
1.54%
2,996
0.14%
5,109
0.24%
3,374
0.14%
8,271
0.38%
5,282
0.22%
4,639
0.16%
9,174
0.32%
35,098
1.20%
112,972
3.84%
Mississippi 2,606
0.34%
4,702
0.53%
2,336
0.25%
3,329
0.36%
2,154
0.22%
2,809
0.31%
2,009
0.20%
1,793
0.16%
2,529
0.20%
6,676
0.52%
14,435
1.19%
Missouri 25
0.00%
179
0.01%
14,422
0.69%
434
0.02%
7,497
0.31%
10,522
0.49%
7,436
0.32%
9,831
0.36%
11,386
0.39%
43,151
1.56%
97,359
3.47%
Montana 40
0.01%
9,825
2.70%
5,185
1.35%
5,047
1.38%
986
0.24%
2,526
0.62%
1,718
0.42%
1,733
0.38%
1,355
0.28%
14,165
2.93%
28,037
5.67%
Nebraska 1,476
0.24%
9,041
1.41%
2,079
0.32%
2,534
0.38%
1,344
0.18%
2,792
0.41%
2,245
0.32%
2,041
0.26%
2,740
0.34%
11,109
1.40%
38,946
4.61%
Nevada 1,519
0.75%
4,358
1.79%
2,292
0.80%
3,520
1.01%
1,835
0.36%
4,460
0.96%
3,311
0.54%
3,176
0.38%
4,263
0.44%
10,968
1.08%
37,384
3.32%
New Hampshire 142
0.04%
936
0.28%
2,064
0.54%
735
0.19%
4,502
1.00%
3,548
0.66%
4,237
0.85%
2,757
0.48%
372
0.05%
2,217
0.31%
8,212
1.16%
30,777
4.20%
New Jersey 89
0.00%
9,449
0.31%
20,652
069%
6,416
0.20%
8,421
0.27%
6,822
0.20%
14,763
0.48%
6,312
0.20%
4,514
0.12%
8,441
0.22%
21,045
0.58%
72,477
1.87%
New Mexico 1,110
0.27%
4,365
0.96%
4,459
0.87%
3,268
0.63%
1,615
0.28%
2,996
0.54%
2,058
0.34%
2,382
0.31%
2,428
0.29%
27,788
3.55%
74,541
9.34%
New York 6
0.00%
12,197
0.19%
52,648
0.85%
11,949
0.18%
12,109
0.19%
13,451
0.19%
12,220
0.19%
7,649
0.11%
11,607
0.16%
19,596
0.26%
47,256
0.67%
176,598
2.29%
North Carolina 2,219
0.13%
9,677
0.52%
3,794
0.17%
1,263
0.06%
5,171
0.20%
8,740
0.35%
12,307
0.42%
11,731
0.34%
25,722
0.60%
44,515
0.99%
130,126
2.74%
North Dakota 256
0.09%
3,743
1.24%
703
0.23%
1,315
0.44%
416
0.14%
847
0.32%
660
0.23%
851
0.27%
1,354
0.43%
5,231
1.62%
21,434
6.22%
Ohio 8,952
0.22%
49,033
1.14%
5,886
0.13%
11,989
0.27%
7,252
0.15%
12,851
0.28%
13,475
0.29%
14,676
0.26%
19,917
0.35%
49,493
0.89%
174,498
3.17%
Oklahoma 13,828
1.20%
9,066
0.72%
6,261
0.53%
4,486
0.32%
5,505
0.46%
6,602
0.53%
83,481
5.75%
Oregon 85
0.01%
464
0.05%
25,838
2.19%
376
0.03%
14,811
1.23%
4,277
0.29%
8,903
0.65%
7,447
0.49%
7,260
0.40%
7,635
0.42%
24,089
1.35%
94,231
4.71%
Pennsylvania 8
0.00%
73
0.00%
33,263
0.73%
6,982
0.14%
12,051
0.27%
21,477
0.43%
28,000
0.62%
11,248
0.23%
21,185
0.37%
19,912
0.33%
49,991
0.87%
146,715
2.40%
Rhode Island 2
0.00%
715
0.17%
2,458
0.59%
277
0.07%
825
0.20%
571
0.13%
1,109
0.28%
742
0.18%
907
0.21%
1,382
0.29%
4,388
0.98%
14,746
3.18%
South Carolina 53
0.01%
4,807
0.54%
4,359
0.45%
4,935
0.50%
2,719
0.23%
4,271
0.37%
4,876
0.35%
3,608
0.22%
7,283
0.38%
16,321
0.83%
49,204
2.34%
South Dakota 1,619
0.54%
3,824
1.17%
1,060
0.34%
814
0.24%
1,472
0.45%
1,662
0.53%
964
0.25%
1,835
0.48%
5,795
1.59%
20,850
5.63%
Tennessee 1
0.00%
1,375
0.09%
7,116
0.44%
3,072
0.18%
2,041
0.12%
1,847
0.09%
5,020
0.27%
4,284
0.21%
4,866
0.20%
8,547
0.33%
18,623
0.76%
70,397
2.81%
Texas 394
0.01%
575
0.01%
37,643
0.83%
30,355
0.56%
19,699
0.32%
20,256
0.36%
23,160
0.36%
38,787
0.52%
56,116
0.69%
88,580
1.11%
283,492
3.16%
Utah 19
0.00%
2,438
0.45%
7,156
1.18%
2,447
0.39%
7,473
1.16%
1,900
0.26%
4,129
0.62%
3,616
0.47%
3,375
0.36%
6,966
0.73%
12,572
1.24%
39,608
3.50%
Vermont 4
0.00%
1,900
0.89%
1,002
0.43%
1,000
0.41%
501
0.17%
1,183
0.46%
784
0.27%
1,102
0.35%
1,067
0.33%
3,487
1.17%
10,078
3.20%
Virginia 4,648
0.27%
12,821
0.69%
8,336
0.38%
5,730
0.22%
9,174
0.38%
15,198
0.55%
11,032
0.34%
11,067
0.30%
31,216
0.81%
118,274
2.97%
Washington 1,537
0.10%
5,042
0.32%
29,213
1.68%
8,844
0.47%
17,240
0.92%
7,533
0.33%
12,522
0.56%
13,135
0.53%
11,955
0.42%
12,728
0.42%
42,202
1.35%
160,879
4.85%
West Virginia 17
0.00%
4,356
0.59%
6
0.00%
28
0.00%
1,873
0.27%
3,062
0.48%
1,912
0.30%
1,405
0.19%
6,302
0.94%
23,004
3.23%
Wisconsin 101
0.01%
3,814
0.18%
29,135
1.28%
4,884
0.22%
5,157
0.24%
2,877
0.11%
7,929
0.36%
6,640
0.26%
6,464
0.22%
8,858
0.30%
20,439
0.67%
106,674
3.58%
Wyoming 89
0.06%
4,514
2.55%
2,357
1.25%
2,026
1.15%
844
0.42%
1,739
0.82%
1,443
0.66%
1,171
0.48%
1,594
0.63%
5,326
2.14%
13,287
5.19%
Total 4,819
0.01%
173,819
0.21%
920,049
1.06%
228,710
0.25%
432,207
0.47%
291,627
0.28%
485,798
0.50%
*390,206
0.37%
397,265
0.32%
523,715
0.40%
1,275,971
0.99%
4,489,341
3.29%
No Ballot Access Write In
  • L Neil Smith was listed as the Libertarian candidate on the ballot in Arizona in place of Harry Browne in 2000. The total includes votes for L Neil Smith.

Guam (Results don't count because Guam has no electoral votes)

1972
John Hospers /
Theodora Nathan
1976
Roger MacBride /
David Bergland
1980
Ed Clark /
David Koch
1984
David Bergland /
James Lewis
1988
Ron Paul /
Andre Marrou
1992
Andre Marrou /
Nancy Lord
1996
Harry Browne /
Jo Jorgensen
2000
Harry Browne /
Art Olivier
2004
Michael Badnarik /
Richard Campagna
2008
Bob Barr /
Wayne Allyn Root
2012
Gary Johnson /
Jim Gray
2016
Gary Johnson /
William Weld
Guam                No election No election 203
0.81%
137
0.51%
129
0.53%
116
0.67%
498
1.54%
420
1.20%
67
0.20%
214
0.66%
351
1.12%
Not on ballot

References

  1. November 5, 1992 email from Joe Dehn to Libernet on Marrou election results