Aleppo gaffe hinders Johnson campaign


In an election year with two major party candidates who have historically high disapproval ratings, Libertarian Gary Johnson sees an opportunity to send a third party to the White House.

As Johnson, who appeals particularly to young voters, has climbed to nearly 10 percent in national polls, the news media have been hesitant to give much attention to his campaign. Instead, news organizations have focused on issues that Americans are all too familiar with, such as Hillary Clinton’s e-mails and Donald Trump’s insults.

However, Johnson received a significant amount of coverage last week after an MSNBC interview during which he expressed his unfamiliarity with Aleppo, a war-torn Syrian city.screen-shot-2016-09-16-at-10-31-19-am

Johnson was chastised by several news organizations, including The New York Times, for his lack of foreign policy knowledge.

Criticism for the Aleppo gaffe was arguably the most attention the Johnson campaign has received from the news media.

The tendency of news organizations to focus coverage on the two major party candidates has made it difficult for the Johnson campaign to garner positive attention.

For Johnson, participation in the presidential debates would provide the perfect opportunity to receive good publicity and attract voters.

The Aleppo gaffe was a major setback for Johnson, who must average at least 15 percent in national polls to participate in the debates. With the first debate coming up on Sept. 26, Johnson must quickly recover from his error if he hopes to be a major contender come election day.