Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, an avid athlete who climbed Mt. Everest and has a strong libertarian bent, announced Thursday that that he will seek the GOP nomination for president, expanding an already crowded field.
Johnson, 58, made his announcement on the steps of the New Hampshire State House, and like his fellow libertarian Republican Ron Paul, made extensive use of email and Twitter to notify potential followers.
“Today's mess didn't just happen. We elected it -- one senator, member of Congress and president at a time,” Johnson said in a statement. “Our leaders in Washington, D.C., have ‘led' America to record unemployment, a devalued currency, banking scandals, the mortgage crisis, drug crisis, economic crisis, loss of our nation's industrial might -- and a long list of other reminders our nation is way off course.”
According to a Gallup poll released this week, Johnson ranked last among 14 possible candidates in name recognition, hovering between 12% and 14%. Ranked highest was Sarah Palin, at 96% name recognition, though name recognition doesn’t always translate into popularity. Most polls place Palin in the first tier of four or five possible contenders and Johnson well back in the pack, though no one is running away with the nomination.