How Many Electors Did Gary Johnson Get? The Answer Might Surprise You

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson speaks to supporters at a rally on September 10, 2016 in New York. / AFP / Bryan R. Smith (Photo credit should read BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images)
Source: BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images

Gary Johnson's failed campaign to the presidency has been, if nothing else, an unusual one. He had some major gaffes, but with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump polling as the least liked candidates in modern history, the former New Mexico governor stood a better chance at collecting some electors on the big day. So how many electors did Johnson get?

The answer is pretty simple: Johnson didn't get any electors. This number is unsurprising when you look at the direction his campaign went throughout October. In the final weeks leading up to the election, the Libertarian saw his support cut in half, diving from around 10 percent of national support to less than five. He concluded Election Day with three percent of the American vote, a sliver compared to Clinton's and Trump's totals.

Johnson had some strong initial momentum, but then he suffered some notable setbacks. Saying "What is Aleppo?" on national television didn't help things, nor did his running mate, Bill Weld, heavily praising Clinton do much to boost people's faith in the Libertarian campaign.

However, Johnson's October dive in the polls can also be explained, according to the Washington Post. Traditionally, support for third-party candidates is over-represented in the summer, but when it actually comes time to vote, people gravitate back toward the major party candidates. In Johnson's case, that deflecting support — comprised primarily of men — split evenly between Clinton and Trump. 

That isn't to say Johnson's candidacy has come without any impact. There has been much back-and-forth about its significance, but it generally comes down to this: Johnson being a spoiler in the race may help him make a name for his party. Politico reported that when asked about the possibility of being a spoiler, Johnson responded: "I hope I’m a spoiler. Because I believe you go from being irrelevant to being a spoiler to being a factor."

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