No candidate received a majority on the first ballot in a nail-biter election at the Libertarian Party National Convention in Orlando, Florida.
With two national polls indicating that 20 percent of registered U.S. voters would be willing to vote for a third-party candidate, about 1,000 delegates and another 4,000 attendees stormed into Orlando for the four-day Libertarian National Convention.
Normally a modest affair for media coverage, over 300 print and TV press members were credentialed for the first nominating convention of the 2016 election cycle.
In a May 29 two-hour debate nationally televised by CSPAN and hosted by Los Angeles-based conservative radio host Larry Elder, the top five qualifiers battled it out. The Libertarians’ decidedly anti-government message has found traction with the American people in a year that has seen support for establishment Democrats and Republicans implode.
In May 30 first-round voting, Libertarian delegates gave former Governor Gary Johnson 458 votes, or 49.5 percent of the vote, but just short of an outright nomination. Among other candidates, 197 votes were cast for political commentator Austin Petersen and 131 votes for anti-computer-virus guru John McAfee.
Under the rules, a second round of the top five vote-getters will start at 12:30 EST.