Third-party voters have long faced a backlash from the majority for potentially swinging elections. In 2016, Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein took heat from Democrats who claimed they took key votes away from Hillary Clinton.
But for Dr. Jo Jorgensen, the 2020 Libertarian presidential candidate, it’s not about swinging an election, but about drumming up support and recognition for what she says is a “real alternative” option in order to oust big government.
“It doesn’t matter whether they choose a Democrat or a Republican, both Joe Biden and Donald Trump are going to take more of our money, make more of our decisions, do nothing about the crushing healthcare costs, and neither one is going to bring the troops home,” Jorgensen told Cheddar.
The first presidential debate is set for Tuesday and with only about 5 percent of national polling support, she isn't expected to take the stage. Guidelines of the Commission on Presidential Debates state a candidate must claim at least 15 percent of polling support in order to participate. But she said the process has been unfair.
“Let me just point out that they haven’t been including me in the polls all along,” she noted. While not prominent in polling, Jorgensen has garnered enough support to appear on the ballot in all 50 states and Washington, DC.
The candidate called the CPD’s guidelines a ploy to seem inclusive even though third-party candidates often are not awarded the same consideration when it comes to polling exposure.
“By getting into multiple polls, your name recognition goes up and they refused to put me in the polls,” she continued.
But with debate stage hopes likely unattainable at this point for Jorgensen, she is focused on drumming up support for her campaign by focusing on the nation’s most serious issues.
When it comes to coronavirus and mitigating the spread, she stated that she believes Americans should make their own decisions about how they want to protect themselves and others, particularly when it comes to wearing a mask.
“It should be up to the individual and whatever establishment they visit,” she said. “Once again, federal government gives us a one-size-fits-all [guidance] in which half the people are going to be unhappy with. And Libertarians say, ‘You know, it’s much better to vote with your feet or vote with your dollars.'”
Also, this week nearly 900,000 Americans applied for unemployment benefits for the first time as the job market continues to reel from impacts of the pandemic, but Jorgensen said Congress should not be focused on a second stimulus.
“You know, if the money was coming out of Donald Trump’s back pocket, of course, that would be great but, no. It’s coming from us,” she said.
“So why take that money from us and then turn around, take a chunk out for, of course, administrative costs and then give us some of our money back. And some of that money goes to the big corporations, who maybe we don’t want to support anyway.”