Political Insider

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Libertarian VP candidate Bill Weld heads to Atlanta Wednesday


Libertarian vice presidential candidate Bill Weld won’t be on the stage Tuesday when Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican Mike Pence square off in the Great Running Mate Debate. But he’ll be in Atlanta Wednesday to try to drum up support for the long-shot presidential ticket.

Weld, a former Republican governor of Massachusetts, is set for a Wednesday night appearance at the Venetian Room in downtown Atlanta. You can find the details here.

He and running-mate Gary Johnson have gained ground with some young voters – Hillary Clinton’s campaign has struggled to keep millennials in the fold – and recent polls show the Libertarians hovering in the high single-digits in Georgia.

But Johnson’s recent blunders, including his embarrassing on-camera struggle to name a single foreign leader he admires and his failure to identify the Syrian city of Aleppo, has dented some of his support.

Weld didn’t do his running-mate any favors when he told MSNBC last week there’s no “more qualified” presidential candidate than Clinton, raising speculation he may abandon the race. And many longtime Libertarian activists have yet to embrace him or Johnson for their establishment roots.

Weld, though, has said he’s in the race for the long haul, and predicted the Republican Party will split in two under the weight of Donald Trump’s candidacy.

“The campaign started out as pure joy,” he told The Atlantic. “And then an element of patriotic duty crept into it.”

More: Third parties’ appeal to young voters a test for Clinton in Georgia


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About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.