Libertarian presidential nominee Gary JohnsonGary Earl JohnsonOn The Trail: Making sense of Super Poll Sunday Polarized campaign leaves little room for third-party hopefuls The Memo: Trump retains narrow path to victory MORE on Thursday exploded with anger when a journalist brought up his low standing in the polls.

“Why are you here then, at 6.1 percent?” Johnson asked The Guardian’s Paul Lewis when asked about his national polling average in Las Vegas.


“Why are you even interviewing me — I don’t get it — if I’m doing so poorly? Is this to preside over a funeral here? It’s not a funeral; it’s a celebration.”

The testy exchange began when Lewis questioned Johnson on why his poll numbers are not higher.

“Both of the mainstream candidates are more unpopular than any other mainstream candidates in modern history,” Lewis said of Democrat Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMedia circles wagons for conspiracy theorist Neera Tanden The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Senate ref axes minimum wage, House votes today on relief bill Democratic strategists start women-run media consulting firm MORE and Republican Donald TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to hold virtual bilateral meeting with Mexican president More than 300 charged in connection to Capitol riot Trump Jr.: There are 'plenty' of GOP incumbents who should be challenged MORE. "So I guess the question is, why are you doing so badly?”

“I would argue just the opposite,” Johnson retorted. "This is phenomenal. We have $12 million; we’re at 10 percent-plus in the polls. We’re leading among independents, among young people, among active military personnel. This is a celebration.”

Johnson lost his temper, however, when Lewis asserted the White House hopeful’s poll numbers are lower than he claimed.

The Libertarian currently registers around 6 points nationally, according to the latest RealClearPolitics average of polls.

Johnson additionally criticized independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin for making Utah a toss-up during the 2016 race.

“He’s ensuring that Hillary wins Utah,” he said of the native Utahan. "He’s on the ballot in 11 states, so he can’t win the presidency.

“You know what? He is what he is, and, you know, I begrudge no one for entering the race. I’m not labeling it spoiler. I’m just telling you what I think the reality is.”

McMullin has presented himself as a conservative alternative to Clinton and Trump.

Recent Utah polling shows the former CIA operative is capable of winning his home state and its electoral votes.

Third-party candidates like Johnson and McMullin have claimed Clinton and Trump’s unpopularity opens a path to the White House this year.

Clinton leads the presidential field by about 5 points nationwide in the latest RealClearPolitics average of surveys.