In MOST of the states the sore-loser laws DON'T apply to presidential candidates.
As of 2007 only South Dakota, Mississippi, Ohio and Texas maintained the sore-loser laws apply to presidential candidate
- and there indeed were presidential candidates seting the precedent of running in GOP or Democratic primaries and then got on the ballots as independents or 3rd party.
- It is quite a feat to get on ballot after a failed attempt to be nominated by GOP, but for example John Anderson in 1980 have run for GOP nomination in most of the states and then got on ballot in ALL states as independent.
I'm pretty sure that even if Ron Paul wouldn't get on ballot in all 50 states he would definitely get much more popular vote than Gary Johnson.
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