For his ground game, Johnson has a small staff of about 25 full-time campaign employees, some of whom work for free. To coordinate his message, he has enlisted the services of Roger Stone, veteran Republican strategist and former Nixonite, and Christopher Barron, chairman of the conservative gay organization GOProud. The team is banking on receiving as much as $5 million in matching federal election funds, and plans to capitalize on Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul's legion of passionate supporters once he steps out of the Republican race.
"Any right-leaning marketing person in the world knows how to take $5 million in seed money and turn it into $15 million," Stone told Yahoo News. "It's just not that hard, particularly once the Ron Paul candidacy comes to an end. Johnson will have both message and resources."
Johnson does not expect an endorsement from Paul, a politician with whom he shares near identical public policy views. But he's counting on Paul followers to boost his support, assuming many will refuse to vote for Obama or Romney come November.
"The way I see it, most Ron Paul supporters will have no place else to go," said Stephen Gordon, a political consultant who has worked as a spokesman for the Libertarian Party. "A lot of Ron Paul supporters, no matter where they live are going to vote for Johnson."
As Johnson puts it, referring to Paul supporters: "You're not sacrificing a thing by having me as an alternative."
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