MADISON, WI – Denise Montgomery is a conservative voter, but still grapples daily with the fact that she threw her vote away in 2016 by voting for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, thus helping to cost Donald Trump a popular vote victory what would have provided a mandate to his presidency.
“I wasn’t thrilled with Donald Trump,” admits Montgomery, adding “I really was all in for Ted Cruz, but when he was cheated out of the race, I was conflicted. Do I hold my nose and vote for the republican, as I have in every election, or do I cast a protest vote? In the end, I chose Johnson because I liked his message the most.”
While Hillary Clinton won a popular vote victory by almost 3 million votes, she failed to win the electoral college vote, losing 227 to 304. Gary Johnson managed almost 4.5 million popular votes, but failed to capture any electoral votes.
“When you look at Johnson’s record of smaller government, lower taxes, opposition to Obamacare, and support for the coal industry, it’s clear that he siphoned off Trump voters – so many that it cost Trump the popular vote.” Republican National Committee Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel told BeetPress. “When you really start looking into specifics, Johnson cost the President the states of Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, and New Mexico. That’s 37 electoral votes Johnson handed to Clinton.”
Montgomery has lost friends over her decision to vote for Gary Johnson and is consistently reminded of this fact on social media whenever House Speaker Nancy Pelosi scores a victory for the democratic party. “Just the other day I posted a meme to my [Facebook] page about repealing Obamacare,” said Montgomery. “Almost immediately I get a barrage of comments like ‘how’s that protest vote working out’ and ‘this is why we vote red or we’ll be dead’ or ‘thanks for emboldening the democrats by costing us the popular vote, Denise’. It takes a toll on you.”
When asked if she’d vote for Donald Trump in 2020, Montgomery was quick to react. “Yes, lesson learned. I just want people to still like me,” she said before pausing to reflect. “If Trump had won the popular vote and had a 341 to 190 electoral landslide, just imagine how great he would have made America.”