In an interview from his new campaign office in Alabama, McAfee told International Business Times that he's confident of victory:
"There is no way I can lose. What the mainstream press fails to understand is that I am idolized by the 18-to-30-year-old age group, the largest voting bloc in America, and when I attend any technical conference I am literally mobbed by fans. The polls may show me at an insignificant percent all the way up until Election Day. Then my underground fan base will vote, probably for the first time in their lives."
Pointing to the recent Defcon hacking conference he attended, McAfee said, “Everywhere I went, I was swarmed and took thousands of pictures with people.” He said it is hard to explain to people the level of adoration he receives from fans and even he cannot account for it.
McAfee said his devotees tend to be in the 18-to-30 age range, which he claimed is the “largest voter bloc” in the country. When asked about this age group’s notoriously low voter turnout, McAfee quoted a message left on his campaign's Facebook page Tuesday night that read: “You are the only person in the world that I would actually leave the house to vote for.”
"I Am Not A Politician"
McAfee said he is not running as a politician but as an individual:
“I am not a politician, and that is my advantage. A politician is defined as being the principles and practices required to gain power and keep power and that is all a politician is. Politics is what created the mess our government is in, so we need fewer politicians and more people who are interested in the people.”
The antivirus pioneer was once a very rich man with a fortune estimated at $100 million, but he lost most of that in the stock market and real estate crashes of 2007-08, which means he won’t be able to self-finance his campaign.
When asked where the money for his presidential bid will come from, McAfee cannot say, adding that his campaign director has said “not to worry about it." That campaign director is Drew Thompson, a political sciencist and the only "politician" among his team, which also includes Kyle Sandler, who was one of the earliest employees at Google Inc. and worked under current Yahoo Inc. CEO Marissa Mayer in the marketing department.
Online Only Campaign
One reason Thompson may not be worrying about the huge finances needed to mount a presidential campaign is that McAfee plans to run the first entirely online campaign, eschewing the traditional route of traversing the country, shaking hands, kissing babies and actually meeting the people whose votes he seeks.
"I think a presidency that is electronically connected makes a lot more sense than someone who hops on a plane and flies to Iowa to campaign," he said.
McAfee, who has created the Cyber Party to support his campaign, is running on a platform of reforming the level of privacy afforded to U.S. citizens, and he says that this will be the first thing he addresses should he make it to the White House.
Many know McAfee only as the man who fled Belize after the authorities wanted him for questioning in relation to the murder of his neighbor -- a case in which he is no longer a "person of interest" -- or the man who was recently arrested for driving under the influence of Xanax while in possession of a handgun. Surely this will hinder his vote-getting potential?
"For the people who read the popular press, absolutely, some people will hold that against me. Fortunately those are not the only voters. I have admitted all my mistakes and explained what happened in Belize, and my DUI was for taking prescription drugs. People make mistakes, it's just that mine get published when yours do not."