Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson is courting supporters of Republican candidate Ron Paul, hoping that a transfer of allegiance will infuse his campaign with new momentum.
Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico, has yet to generate anything close to the passionate level of support enjoyed by Paul, a GOP congressman from Texas who advocates libertarian positions on many issues. Both Johnson and Paul call for severe cutbacks in federal spending and power, and both are very critical of U.S. military interventions abroad.
Paul has admitted that he stands virtually no chance of overtaking Mitt Romney and winning the Republican presidential nomination. But Paul has not endorsed Romney and is hoping that his delegates at the Republican National Convention in August, estimated to number in the hundreds, will be able to push his ideas into the GOP platform.
Johnson's goals are different. He wants to make a strong showing in the November election, and is trying to gain support from Paul backers to push up his standing in the opinion polls and perhaps qualify for the presidential debates this fall.
Johnson has been giving media interviews to gain attention for his ideas, and has recently talked to news outlets in Florida and California, states with large Hispanic populations. Johnson believes that Latinos will be receptive to his candidacy because of his record governing New Mexico, which has one of the most significant Latino populations in the country.
Johnson has been increasing his travel schedule and plans to visit the key swing state of Ohio this weekend. He has also released a new video in which he urges Democrats and Republicans to back his candidacy. He says, "Take as many votes as possible away from the people in both parties keeping us in a state of perpetual war, increasing unsustainable debt, record joblessness, and a bipartisan economic death wish ruining America for 330 million of us."
In fact, he sounds a lot like Ron Paul, which could help him bring Paul supporters into his campaign.