We hear that libertarian attitudes are ever-growing in the public, and Johnson is the only candidate offering actual solutions to pressing national problems of the fiscal crisis, the massive debt, and imperial overreach. He isn’t as sharp as former GOP candidate Ron Paul was in hardcore libertarian terms on tax policy (Johnson’s support for the "fair tax" annoys some libertarians because it is, after all, a new national sales tax), and he is less consistent on opposition to foreign intervention.
Johnson is saying the right things about stopping the wars and how we’ve departed from our nation’s founding principles. He’s trying very hard to appeal to the rising generation by stressing drug legalization, by explaining how the current system screws the young, and of course by crowd-surfing, handing out rolling papers with his image, wearing the same peace sign T-shirt for days in a row, making silly zombie videos and answering questions of all comers on Reddit three times. (Alas for a youth-based strategy, it’s very hard to get them out to vote in large numbers; not even Obama could do it.) Johnson is trying to avoid scaring people out of the political paradigm they’ve embraced for life by mildly asking them to “be libertarian with me” for just one election, not rethink their politics entirely.
Reason and logic might dictate that Johnson should at the very least get the votes of the 2.1 million who went for Ron Paul in the GOP primary season. As Paul has pointed out to me, his people believe many disillusioned leftists, peaceniks, and anti-drug-warriors, who would not otherwise have anything to do with a Republican primary, stand with Paul and thus with Johnson on those issues.