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Gary Johnson: If people voted with their beliefs, I’d be the next president of the US

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson speaks to supporters and delegates at the National Libertarian Party Convention, Friday, May 27, 2016, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

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PHOENIX — Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson said Wednesday that he would be the next president of the United States if people simply voted with their beliefs.

“If everyone were to vote on the basis of principles, I’d be the next president of the United States,” the former New Mexico governor told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes.

Johnson said most people who take online voting surveys, such as the popular I Stand With issue-based survey, are often matched with the Libertarian Party because it is in favor of being fiscally conservative while promoting social inclusion.

However, Johnson said most people who match with the Libertarians know little about the party and fear their vote will be “wasted” if they don’t vote either Democrat or Republican. Johnson disagreed.

“A wasted vote is voting for somebody you don’t believe in,” he said.

With the growing divisions over the two primary presidential candidates, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, some voters may feel they are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

“If you vote for the lesser of two evils, that’s what you’re going to end up with,” Johnson said.

Johnson’s campaign, which will hold a rally in Phoenix on Saturday, is making a big push to have him participate in at least one presidential debate.

“I just think it’s really interesting that Ross Perot was polling less than we are when he was allowed into the presidential debate,” he said.

Though Johnson recognizes the difficulties in winning without the national spotlight of a debate, he said he will see the race out until the November general election and will keep making appearances.

The Phoenix rally is being held at the Phoenix Airport Marriott near 44th Street and McDowell Road. The doors open at 3 p.m. and the rally is scheduled to run 4-5:30 p.m. Tickets are free.

Johnson said some people may be surprised at the attendance.

“Turnout has been terrific,” he said.

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