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Third-party candidates win support from some Northwestern students

Gary+Johnson%2C+the+Libertarian+candidate+for+president%2C+speaks+at+a+campaign+event+in+Los+Angeles+on+Wednesday%2C+Oct.+19%2C+2016.+%28Marcus+Yam%2FLos+Angeles+Times%2FTNS%29
Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate for president, speaks at a campaign event in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate for president, speaks at a campaign event in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

(Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

(Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate for president, speaks at a campaign event in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Jonah Dylan, Reporter

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In the Ohio Republican primary, Weinberg junior Ellie Tyger voted for Gov. John Kasich. But when Kasich suspended his campaign, she never once considered voting for Donald Trump.

“I cannot vote for Donald Trump under any circumstance because of his insulting comments on just about every group of people besides white men,” she said.

Instead, Tyger said she will vote third party.

According to an ABC News/Washington Post poll, this year’s election features the two most unpopular candidates to run for president in the last 30 years. Due to this unfavorability, some students have turned to third-party candidates.

Medill freshman Jackson Elliott said although he is a Republican, he will not vote for either Trump or Hillary Clinton and needs to decide which third-party candidate to vote for.

From the beginning, Elliott said, it was clear there were problems with Trump.

“I thought if you’re on the train going in the right direction, but you know that the guy driving it is a bit off, it’s okay to keep on going,” Elliott said. “But when you discover … he has no sense of respect for anyone, he’s crazy and you have no clue what he’s going to do next, it comes to the point where you figure it’d be better to go out and walk it.”

Elliott said he will likely vote for Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson or Constitution Party nominee Darrell Castle. Green Party nominee Jill Stein was polling at 1 percent on the ABC News/Washington Post poll as of Thursday morning.

Medill sophomore Rob Schaefer said he supported Johnson at the beginning of the election season and throughout the summer.

“I pretty much considered every option I had that wasn’t Donald Trump,” Schaefer said.

When Schaefer told people he was strongly considering voting for Johnson, many tried convincing him to vote for either Trump or Clinton. He said he was told voting for Johnson would be throwing his vote away, but he said he disagrees.

Even though he knew it was very unlikely Johnson would win the election, Schaefer said he still felt voting for him would matter.

“You’re not wasting a vote if you’re voting for someone you actually believe in,” Schaefer said.

However, after seeing Johnson’s “foreign policy slip-ups,” Schaefer said he decided to vote for Clinton instead.

“I liked Johnson because he represented something different from the two-party system, which I think is tearing this country apart, and he represented a voice that I agree with on social issues,” Schaefer said. “When I really dug in and did my research, I realized that what he was proposing was pretty reckless.”

Weinberg senior Aaron Gordon said he tends to lean toward Libertarian candidates and will vote for Johnson on Nov. 8. He said he aligns with Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s policies and would’ve considered voting for him had he won the Republican nomination for president.

Gordon said although he knows Johnson won’t win the presidency, voting for him can affect the status quo of the two-party system. He referenced Ross Perot’s 1992 presidential campaign, which he said changed the course of the Republican party.

At this point, Gordon said, he is choosing a candidate by the process of elimination.

“I don’t think I have to go to any great lengths to explain why I’m not voting for Donald Trump,” he said. “As far as Clinton goes, I don’t think she’s as objectionable as Trump, but I don’t like her approach to filling the vacancy on the Supreme Court.”

According to the polling website FiveThirtyEight, Johnson is currently polling at 5.3 percent. No third-party candidate has a higher polling percentage.

Tyger, the Weinberg junior, also said she knows Johnson won’t win, but still thinks her vote will send a message. To her, voting for Johnson is a form of protest.

“The higher percentage Gary Johnson gets of the popular vote, even though he’s clearly not going to get any electoral college votes, is a statement to Washington and to the candidates themselves to show that not everyone is happy with the results of the primaries,” Tyger said.

Email: jonahdylan2020@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @thejonahdylan

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