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RFK Jr. comes well short of winning Libertarian Party's nomination

Former Senate candidate Chase Oliver is named Libertarian Party nominee after five rounds of voting.
Robert Kennedy Jr.
Posted at 7:21 AM, May 27, 2024

Delegates at the Libertarian Party's national convention rejected a bid to make independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. the party's presidential nominee.

Kennedy was among a group of candidates earning less than 5% of the vote in the first round of balloting. Candidates below 5% were eliminated after the first round.

Former President Donald Trump was also nominated by a delegate after speaking to the group, but his nomination was rejected as his campaign had not turned in any paperwork.

After five rounds of voting, the party selected Chase Oliver as the nominee.

The party, which makes reducing the size of the federal government a key theme of its platform, has been a mainstay on presidential ballots for decades. It has also achieved getting on all 50 state ballots for back-to-back presidential elections.

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In 2016, Libertarians made their most serious bid to challenge the two-party system by nominating former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson as their presidential nominee with Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld as his running mate. They garnered 3.3% of the national popular vote but could not pull any Electoral College votes.

Given the Libertarian party's ability to get on state ballots, Kennedy said he would have accepted the nomination.

"What an unexpected honor to wake up this morning to a groundswell in the Libertarian Party seeking to nominate me. I would have accepted the nomination if offered because independents and third parties need to unite right now to reclaim our country from the corrupt two-party system," he said.

In a May 24 poll released by Emerson College, Kennedy garnered 6% of the support from registered voters. Other independent candidates polled at or below 1%. Trump led President Joe Biden in the poll 44% to 39%.

Oliver was a candidate in the 2022 U.S. Senate election in Georgia and received 2% of the vote.