After a three week presidential exploratory committee, Rep. Justin Amash (L-MI) has ruled out a Libertarian Party presidential bid.
“I’ve spent nearly three weeks assessing the race, appearing in media, talking to delegates and donors, watching the Libertarian Party’s convention plan unfold, and gathering feedback from family, friends, and other advisers,” Amash said.
“After much reflection, I’ve concluded that circumstances don’t lend themselves to my success as a candidate for president this year, and therefore I will not be a candidate.”
He went on to explain his rationale for not running.
“Polarization is near an all-time high. Electoral success requires an audience willing to consider alternatives, but both social media and traditional media are dominated by voices strongly averse to the political risks posed by a viable third candidate,” he continued.
“The new reality of social distancing levels the playing field among the candidates in many respects, but it also means lesser known candidates are more dependent on adequate media opportunities to reach people. Today, most Americans are understandably more interested in what life will look like tomorrow than they are in broader policy debates, and news coverage has reflected those priorities. At the same time, fundraising challenges posed by an idled economy will hinder advertising.”
He also blamed the disorderly nature of the Libertarian Party for his decision to step aside.
“The Libertarian Party’s national committee members and delegates have worked diligently to organize the national convention, but lingering uncertainty regarding ratification of online voting, the feasibility of 50-state ballot access and related legal challenges, and unity after the nomination have also weighed heavily on me,” he added. “We must address these issues as a party to ensure we maximize our potential.”
One justification Amash did not mention was that polls revealed he would take more votes from Democratic nominee Biden than President Trump. This contradicted his public statements – that his candidacy would hurt Trump more. The polling drew a backlash from ‘Never Trump’ Republicans who had previously been firm supporters of Amash, but had since aligned themselves with Biden. With this announcement, many ‘Never Trump’ figures have been placated.
“Thank you, Justin Amash,” tweeted anti-Trump attorney George Conway.