Long-shot presidential candidates continue on Facebook and principle

Buddy Roemer, Fred Karger and Gary Johnson remain active online, but their support is fading. 


Justin Franz


Published May 30, 2012   Updated Jun 2, 2021, 4:28 pm CDT

As Mitt Romney clinched the Republican nomination on Tuesday night, some of his long-shot competitors were still looking for voter support on social media.

Buddy Roemer, Fred Karger and Gary Johnson took stabs at the Republican primary during this election cycle. All three remain in the hunt for the White House, but Johnson and Roemer have decided to seek a third-party route.

And unlike Romney and President Obama, who have the advantage of continuous media attention, the three long shots have all focused on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to get their messages out. For some, like Johnson, it’s still working. But for Roemer, who was banking on the now-failed Americans Elect nomination, social media may be hinting for him to step aside.

The former Louisiana governor left the Republican race earlier this year and declared that he would gain ballot access through Americans Elect. All he had to do was gain 1,000 signatures in 10 different states and, as the Daily Dot reported earlier this year. Unfortunately for Roemer, he didn’t get the 10,000 signatures needed to become the Americans Elect candidate. In fact, no one did. Soon after Americans Elect has abandoned its third-party aspirations.

Roemer is left with no path forward, but he continues on social media anyway, stressing his message that the country is run by lobbyists and big corporation. Roemer’s Facebook page was often flooded with positive comments and feedback from the message, but the tone has changed recently.

“The Coffee Party?” Dan Bower wrote. “Seriously… You entered the race with some semblance of conservatism, now you’ve just become another whiny liberal. I really used to respect you.”

But, as always, some people have come to Roemer’s defense and offered positive words for the long shot.

“Hey Dan, just how is Buddy’s concern with the buying of our country by the richest in the land a whiny liberal idea?” Thomas Watson countered. “Seems to me it’s just good sense based on true observation. Beyond liberal beyond conservative labels. It should concern every true American.”

But the numbers don’t lie. At least on Facebook, Roemer has seen little fan gains. As of Tuesday, he had gained just 35 fans in the last week.

The same is true for Karger, the first openly gay presidential candidate. In recent weeks, he has gained no new followers on Facebook, but he keeps swinging at the Republican nominee. His latest strike was a YouTube video that accused Romney of being weak. It also brought up Karger’s time as an advisor for President Ronald Reagan.

Johnson, however, is still swinging and hitting. He recently grabbed the Libertarian Party nomination and has been seeing big gains since then. Johnson currently had 160,000 likes on Facebook, much more than Jon Huntsman ever gained.

It’s unlikely that these three men will be president anytime soon. But so long as a few people are listening, these issue-driven campaigns should carry on. As Karger spokesperson Rina Shah hinted at during a past interview with the Daily Dot, it’s not about winning.

“His campaign is fueled by the desire to show not only young gays but anyone, that you can do anything you want—even run for president of the United States.”

Photo via Facebook

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*First Published: May 30, 2012, 1:05 pm CDT