Jo Jorgensen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Jo Jorgensen
Jo Jorgensen portrait 3.jpg
Jorgensen in 2020
Born (1957-05-01) May 1, 1957 (age 65)
EducationBaylor University (BS)
Southern Methodist University (MBA)
Clemson University (PhD)
  • Politician
  • academic
EmployerClemson University
Political partyLibertarian
Jo Jorgensen Signature.svg

Jo Jorgensen[1][2] (born May 1, 1957)[1] 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[edit]

Jorgensen was born on May 1, 1957, in Libertyville, Illinois,[1] and raised in neighboring Grayslake. She is an alumna of Grayslake Central High School.[3] Her grandparents were Danish immigrants.[4]

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.[5] She received a Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Clemson University in 2002.[6] She has taught full-time at Clemson since 2006.[7][8]

Political career[edit]

1992 U.S. House of Representatives campaign[edit]

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.[9]

1996 vice presidential campaign[edit]

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.[10][11] 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.[12]

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[edit]

On August 13, 2019, Jorgensen filed with the FEC to run for the Libertarian presidential nomination in the 2020 election.[13] 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.[14]

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.[15][16] 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.[17] She registered minimal support in opinion polling.[18]

Jorgensen released a list of potential Supreme Court nominees in September 2020 in response to the vacancy on the Court created by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death.[19]

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.[20][21][22][23][24]

Political positions[edit]

Jorgensen speaking at a rally in Scottsdale, Arizona, October 10, 2020

Healthcare and social security[edit]

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.[25][26][27] She opposes single-payer healthcare, calling it "disastrous".[27]

Jorgensen supports replacing Social Security with individual retirement accounts.[28] 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.[29][30] 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.[31]

Criminal justice and drug policy[edit]

Jorgensen opposes federal civil asset forfeiture and qualified immunity.[32] She opposes the war on drugs and supports abolishing drug laws, promising to pardon all nonviolent drug offenders.[33] She has urged the demilitarization of police.[34]

Foreign policy and defense[edit]

Jorgensen opposes embargoes, economic sanctions, and foreign aid; she supports non-interventionism, armed neutrality, and the withdrawal of U.S. troops from abroad.[35][36][32]

Immigration, economics, and trade[edit]

Jorgensen calls for deregulation, arguing that it would reduce poverty.[37] She supports cutting government spending to reduce taxes.[38]

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.[39] 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.[40][41][42][43]


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".[26][40][44]

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.[45]

Personal life[edit]

Jorgensen is married and has two adult daughters and a grandson.[46] She briefly paused her presidential campaign after her mother's death on September 3, 2020.[47]

Electoral history[edit]

South Carolina's 4th Congressional District Election Results, 1992
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Bob Inglis 99,879 50.3 +11.9
Democratic Liz J. Patterson (incumbent) 94,182 47.5 -13.9
Libertarian Jo Jorgensen 4,286 2.2 +2.2
Majority 5,697 2.8 -20.2
Turnout 198,410
Republican gain from Democratic
1996 United States Presidential Election
Party Candidate Votes %
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%
None Others 121,534 0.1%
2020 United States presidential election[48]
Presidential candidate
Vice presidential candidate
Party Popular
% Electoral votes
Joe Biden
Kamala Harris
Democratic 81,268,924 51.3% 306
Donald Trump (incumbent)
Mike Pence
Republican 74,216,154 46.9% 232
Jo Jorgensen
Spike Cohen
Libertarian 1,865,724 1.2% 0
Howie Hawkins
Angela Walker
Green 405,035 0.3% 0
Others 627,566 0.4% 0
Total 158,383,403 100% 538

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Jo Jorgensen Biography". ProCon. Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. August 26, 2020. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
  2. ^ "Statement of Candidacy – Jo Jorgensen" (PDF). Federal Election Commission. August 13, 2019. Retrieved October 8, 2020.
  3. ^ Susnjara, Bob (May 25, 2020). "Woman who grew up in Grayslake is Libertarian Party's presidential pick". Daily Herald. Archived from the original on May 26, 2020. Retrieved May 25, 2020.
  4. ^ "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.
  5. ^ "Jo Jorgenson | Meet Our Faculty | Who We Are | Center for Corporate and Professional Development". Furman University. Archived from the original on December 6, 2017. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
  6. ^ "College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences | Faculty and Staff Profile". Clemson University. Archived from the original on June 10, 2020. Retrieved February 8, 2020.
  7. ^ "About Jo Jorgensen Campaign". Retrieved August 14, 2020.
  8. ^ "Faculty – Department of Psychology". Clemson University. Archived from the original on June 10, 2020. Retrieved September 14, 2019.
  9. ^ "Annual Report: 1992–1993" (PDF). South Carolina Election Commission. p. 82. Retrieved October 11, 2020.
  10. ^ Broder, David S. (July 7, 1996). "Seeking Political Breakthrough, Libertarians Pick Harry Browne". Washington Post. Archived from the original on June 12, 2020. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  11. ^ "Libertarian Convention Acceptance Speeches". C-SPAN Video Library. July 6, 1996. Retrieved May 27, 2012.
  12. ^ "Third Party Vice Presidential Debate". CNN. October 22, 1996. Archived from the original on June 12, 2020. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
  13. ^ "Jorgensen, Jo – Candidate for President ID: P00013524". August 13, 2019. Archived from the original on October 19, 2019. Retrieved September 14, 2019.
  14. ^ Welch, Matt (November 7, 2019). "Candidates Vie to Represent the Libertarian Wing of the Libertarian Party". Reason. Archived from the original on December 14, 2019. Retrieved February 12, 2020.
  15. ^ Brian Doherty (May 23, 2020). "Jo Jorgensen Wins Libertarian Party Presidential Nomination". Archived from the original on May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 24, 2020.
  16. ^ Steinhauser, Paul (May 25, 2020). "Libertarians pick first female presidential nominee". Fox News. Archived from the original on May 25, 2020. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
  17. ^ Obeidallah, Dean. "The truth about 'I'm with her'". Archived from the original on June 3, 2020. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  18. ^ Jeremy W. Peters, 'Hidden' Trump Voters Exist. But How Much Impact Will They Have?, New York Times (August 16, 2020).
  19. ^ "Jorgensen issues list of potential U.S. Supreme Court picks". September 24, 2020. Retrieved October 12, 2020.
  20. ^ Coaston, Jane (November 13, 2020). "How the Libertarian Party (maybe) helped shift the presidential race". Vox. Retrieved December 15, 2020.
  21. ^ Davis, Michael Warren (November 29, 2020). "Libertarians suck". The Spectator. Retrieved December 15, 2020.
  22. ^ Bekiempis, Victoria (November 8, 2020). "Was Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgensen a 'spoiler' for Trump?". The Guardian. Retrieved December 15, 2020.
  23. ^ Block, Walter E. (November 8, 2020). "Libertarians Spoil the Election". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved December 15, 2020.
  24. ^ Aldrich, John (November 10, 2020). "Does Joe Biden owe his win to Jo Jorgensen?". The Hill. Retrieved December 15, 2020.
  25. ^ "Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate Jo Jorgensen campaigns in Wisconsin". WSAW. July 25, 2020. Retrieved August 14, 2020.
  26. ^ a b "Jorgensen Brings Pragmatic Approach to Libertarian Presidential Campaign". The Amarillo Pioneer. Archived from the original on June 11, 2020. Retrieved May 24, 2020.
  27. ^ a b Doherty, Brian (May 21, 2020). "Libertarian Presidential Contender Jo Jorgensen Wants To Combine Principle With Palatable Persuasion". Archived from the original on May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 24, 2020.
  28. ^ "Social Security". Retrieved August 14, 2020.
  29. ^ Doherty, Brian (May 22, 2020). "Libertarian Party Presidential Debate Offers Choice Between All Liberty Now or Moving the Ball of Liberty Down the Field". Reason. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  30. ^ "Final Libertarian Presidential Debate with John Stossel". YouTube. LibertarianParty. May 21, 2020. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  31. ^ "Social Security Would Be Drastically Changed Under This Presidential Candidate's Plan". Archived from the original on June 29, 2020. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  32. ^ a b "Jo Jorgensen's Bold, Practical, Libertarian Vision for America's Future". Jo Jorgensen for President 2020. Archived from the original on May 25, 2020. Retrieved May 24, 2020.
  33. ^ Dinan, Stephen (June 12, 2020). "Libertarian nominee says Trump, Biden both tainted on race". Washington Times. Archived from the original on June 20, 2020. Retrieved June 21, 2020.
  34. ^ 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.
  35. ^ "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.
  36. ^ Doherty, Brian (May 21, 2020). "Libertarian Presidential Contender Jo Jorgensen Wants To Combine Principle With Palatable Persuasion". Reason. Archived from the original on May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 24, 2020.
  37. ^ 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.
  38. ^ "Taxes", Jo Jorgensen for President
  39. ^ "Trade and Immigration | Libertarian Candidates stance | 2020". Archived from the original on August 9, 2020. Retrieved August 14, 2020.
  40. ^ a b "Libertarian Party Presidential Debate Offers Choice Between All Liberty Now or Moving the Ball of Liberty Down the Field". Reason. May 22, 2020. Archived from the original on May 22, 2020. Retrieved May 22, 2020.
  41. ^ "Final Libertarian Presidential Debate with John Stossel". Archived from the original on July 12, 2020. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  42. ^ "Libertarian Party of Kentucky Presidential Debates: the Finale". Youtube. Archived from the original on July 11, 2020. Retrieved May 9, 2020.
  43. ^ Cami Mondeaux, "The alternative presidential candidate: Jo Jorgensen runs for the Libertarian Party", KLS News radio 102.7 FM, July 5, 2020
  44. ^ "NH Primary Source: Libertarian presidential candidate Jorgensen urges end of police 'militarization'". Archived from the original on June 18, 2020. Retrieved June 18, 2020.
  45. ^ 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.
  46. ^ "Jo Jorgensen message to delegates | Independent Political Report". Archived from the original on June 4, 2020. Retrieved July 9, 2020.
  47. ^ "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]
  48. ^ "Official 2020 presidential general election results" (PDF). Federal Election Commission. February 1, 2021. Retrieved February 6, 2021.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by Libertarian nominee for Vice President of the United States
Succeeded by
Preceded by Libertarian nominee for President of the United States
Most recent