|Education||Baylor University (BS)|
Southern Methodist University (MBA)
Clemson University (PhD)
|Part of a series on|
in the United States
Jo Jorgensen (born May 1, 1957) is an American libertarian political activist and academic. Jorgensen was the Libertarian Party's nominee for president of the United States in the 2020 election, in which she finished third in the popular vote with about 1.9 million votes, 1.2% of the national total. She was previously the party's nominee for vice president in the 1996 election, as Harry Browne's running mate. She is a full-time lecturer of psychology at Clemson University.
Early life and career
Jorgensen received a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology at Baylor University in 1979 and a master's degree in business administration at Southern Methodist University in 1980. She began her career at IBM working with computer systems, leaving to become part owner and President of Digitech, Inc. She received a Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Clemson University in 2002. She has taught full-time at Clemson since 2006.
1992 U.S. House of Representatives campaign
Jorgensen first ran for office in the 1992 United States House of Representatives election. She ran as a Libertarian to represent SC-04, in northwest South Carolina, against incumbent Democrat Liz J. Patterson and Republican challenger Bob Inglis. Jorgensen placed third with 2.2% of the total vote.
1996 vice presidential campaign
Before the 1996 United States presidential election, the Libertarian Party nominated Jorgensen for vice president, as Harry Browne's running mate. She was nominated on the first ballot with 92% of the vote. She participated in a vice-presidential debate televised nationwide by C-SPAN on October 22, along with Herbert Titus of the Taxpayers Party and Mike Tompkins of the Natural Law Party.
Browne and Jorgensen, who were on the ballot in all 50 states and D.C., received 485,759 votes, finishing in fifth place with 0.5% of the popular vote. This was the Libertarian Party's best performance since 1980.
2020 presidential campaign
On August 13, 2019, Jorgensen filed with the FEC to run for the Libertarian presidential nomination in the 2020 election. She formally launched her campaign at the November 2, 2019, Libertarian Party of South Carolina convention before participating in the South Carolina Libertarian presidential debate the same day.
In the non-binding Libertarian primaries, Jorgensen was second in the cumulative popular vote, winning two of the 12 primaries.
On May 23, 2020, Jorgensen became the Libertarian presidential nominee, making her the first woman to be the Libertarian nominee and the only female 2020 presidential candidate with ballot access to over 270 electoral votes. Spike Cohen, a mostly unknown figure in mainstream politics, was nominated for vice president. The same day, Jorgensen's supporters repurposed Hillary Clinton's unofficial 2016 campaign slogan, "I'm With Her". The slogan trended on Twitter that night and made national headlines. She registered minimal support in opinion polling.
Jorgensen received more than 1.8 million votes in the general election, about 1.2% of the national total.
After the election, several media outlets speculated that Jorgensen's candidacy resulted in vote splitting significant enough to be decisive in Democrat Joe Biden's victory over Republican Donald Trump, pointing to Jorgensen's vote share being higher than Biden's margin of victory over Trump in multiple battleground states.
Jorgensen supports a free-market healthcare system financed by individual spending accounts that could keep any savings, which she believes would increase healthcare providers' incentive to compete by meeting consumer demand for low-cost services. She opposes single-payer healthcare, calling it "disastrous".
Jorgensen supports replacing Social Security with individual retirement accounts. In the final debate of the 2020 primaries, candidate Jacob Hornberger accused Jorgensen of "support[ing] the welfare state through Social Security and Medicare". In response, she called Social Security a "Ponzi scheme". She then expressed the desire to allow people to opt out of the program on her first day in office, while emphasizing the constitutional inability of a president to unilaterally end the program without Congress's support, as well as the need for the government to fulfill existing Social Security obligations. Under Jorgensen's plan, those who opt out would put 6.2% of their payroll taxes in individual retirement accounts and receive prorated Social Security benefits for existing contributions as zero-coupon bonds for retirement.
Criminal justice and drug policy
Jorgensen opposes federal civil asset forfeiture and qualified immunity. She opposes the war on drugs and supports abolishing drug laws, promising to pardon all nonviolent drug offenders. She has urged the demilitarization of police.
Foreign policy and defense
Immigration, economics, and trade
Jorgensen supports the freedom of American citizens to travel and trade, calls for the elimination of trade barriers and tariffs, and supports the repeal of quotas on the number of people who can legally enter the United States to work, visit, or reside. In a Libertarian presidential primary debate, Jorgensen said she would immediately stop construction on President Donald Trump's border wall. During another primary debate she blamed anti-immigration sentiment on disproportionate media coverage of crimes by immigrants. She argued that immigration helps the economy and that the blending of cultures is beneficial.
Jorgensen has characterized the U.S. government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic as overly bureaucratic and authoritarian, calling restrictions on individual behavior (such as stay-at-home orders) and corporate bailouts "the biggest assault on our liberties in our lifetime".
Jorgensen opposes government mask mandates, considering mask-wearing a matter of personal choice. She argues that mask-wearing would be widely adopted without government intervention because market competition would drive businesses to adopt either mask-required or mask-optional policies, allowing consumers the freedom to choose their preferred environment. Jorgensen has invoked the analogy of dollar voting to argue that consumer preferences would shape businesses' policies on face masks in the absence of a government mandate.
|Democratic||Liz J. Patterson (incumbent)||94,182||47.5||-13.9|
|Republican gain from Democratic|
|Democratic||Bill Clinton/Al Gore (incumbent)||47,402,357||49.2%|
|Republican||Bob Dole/Jack Kemp||39,198,755||40.7%|
|Reform||Ross Perot/Pat Choate||8,085,402||8.4%|
|Green||Ralph Nader/Multiple People||685,297||0.7%|
|Libertarian||Harry Browne/Jo Jorgensen||485,798||0.5%|
|Constitution||Howard Phillips/Herbert Titus||184,820||0.2%|
|Natural Law||John Hagelin/Michael Tompkins||113,670||0.1%|
Vice presidential candidate
|Donald Trump (incumbent)
- List of female United States presidential and vice-presidential candidates
- Third party and independent candidates for the 2020 United States presidential election
- Spike Cohen, Jorgensen's running mate in the 2020 presidential election
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- "Jo Jorgensen on Twitter: "I have a dream for America. I would like to return the country to the vision my grandparents came here for, one of freedom and working hard and getting somewhere w/out the gov't taking it all like their homeland did. They came from Denmark. #VoteGold #Election2020" / Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved November 6, 2020.
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- Block, Walter E. (November 8, 2020). "Libertarians Spoil the Election". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved December 15, 2020.
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- "Social Security". Retrieved August 14, 2020.
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- DiStaso, John (June 4, 2020). "NH Primary Source: Libertarian presidential candidate Jorgensen urges end of police 'militarization'". WMUR. Archived from the original on June 18, 2020. Retrieved June 18, 2020.
- "Turn America into One Giant Switzerland: Armed and Neutral". Jo Jorgensen for President 2020. Archived from the original on June 9, 2020. Retrieved May 24, 2020.
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- Solem, Rick (June 13, 2020). "The other 'Jo' wants your 2020 vote, if you're fed up with the two-party system, or if you're not". WIZM News Talk 1410 AM.
- "Taxes", Jo Jorgensen for President
- "Trade and Immigration | Libertarian Candidates stance | 2020". Archived from the original on August 9, 2020. Retrieved August 14, 2020.
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- "Libertarian Party of Kentucky Presidential Debates: the Finale". Youtube. Archived from the original on July 11, 2020. Retrieved May 9, 2020.
- Cami Mondeaux, "The alternative presidential candidate: Jo Jorgensen runs for the Libertarian Party", KLS News radio 102.7 FM, July 5, 2020
- "NH Primary Source: Libertarian presidential candidate Jorgensen urges end of police 'militarization'". www.wmur.com. Archived from the original on June 18, 2020. Retrieved June 18, 2020.
- Gillespie, Nick (September 23, 2020). "Jo Jorgensen: Don't Waste Your Vote on Trump or Biden". Reason (Podcast). Event occurs at 21:48–29:06. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
- "Jo Jorgensen message to delegates | Independent Political Report". Archived from the original on June 4, 2020. Retrieved July 9, 2020.
- "Dr. Jo Jorgensen, Libertarian presidential candidate, announces her mother has passed away". The Pampa News. September 5, 2020. Retrieved September 30, 2020.[permanent dead link]
- "Official 2020 presidential general election results" (PDF). Federal Election Commission. February 1, 2021. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
- Wikinews interviews Jo Jorgensen, U.S. Libertarian Party presidential nominee at Wikinews
- Issue Positions and quotes at On the Issues
- Profile at OpenSecrets
- Jo Jorgensen at Ballotpedia
- Appearances on C-SPAN