Gary Johnson knows that he has the credentials of a legitimate presidential candidate.
He has been arguably as successful a business man as Herman Cain, starting a handyman business from scratch and growing it to employ more than 1,000 workers.
He was governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003, one term longer than former governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney.
The problem with the Gary Johnson presidential campaign begins and ends with a lack of media recognition, which has given the campaign an almost illusory feel.
"I've got the resume," Johnson said. "The problem is that people have no idea who I am."
Johnson has been excluded from all but two of the televised Republican debates and is conducting his presidential campaign largely through the Internet, a practice that would have been nearly impossible a decade ago.
"What we are doing is completely new and I can't say enough about it," Johnson said. "The Internet has afforded me an opportunity I can't get any other way."
When CNN refused to give him a debate spot and CNBC neglected to return his calls, Johnson took a large part of his campaign online.
When Johnson is not invited to a debate, he tweets or creates a YouTube video with his responses to questions.
"[Tweeting] is a viable alternative," Johnson said.
Johnson has also had two virtual town hall meetings powered by Yowie.com, which provided an unmoderated question-and-answer session directly to potential voters. The first meeting boasted an attendance of more than 10,000, with more than 175 questions asked. Johnson used his allotted time to answer 32 questions.
Jamie Snider, the founder of Yowie.com, is accustomed to his chat room technology being utilized for fans to interact with celebrities such as "Parks and Recreation" star Amy Poehler or comedian Michael Ian Black, but after reading the profile of Johnson in GQ, thought it would be a great opportunity to reach out to the former governor.
"Recently we are making an effort to make a move into the political realm," Snider said. "The audience can be anywhere in the country, it can be any size and the conversation can be embedded into any site."
It is a forum that Johnson said is special because there is no vetting of questions, all are allowed to ask and no question is out-of-bounds.
Looking out-of-bounds for questions and answers may be one of the reasons Johnson has been watching the debates from the stands.
The blacklisting of Johnson may have more to do with his libertarian leanings than his qualifications.
Johnson has run his platform on reduced government, decriminalization of marijuana, the repeal of the Internet gambling ban and pro-choice abortion rights.
Where most of the candidates would work to tighten and heighten the border fence between the United States and Mexico, Johnson has maintained his belief to not add to the fence and to make easier for immigrants to obtain work visas.
Johnson said he hates to talk about exclusion and still has a hope of a late turnaround to snap up the Republican nomination.
"The reality of the hope though is that it is a deck of cards that is stacked," Johnson said. "I never thought I would say that."
Still, Johnson maintains his course and continues to plug on by plugging in.
The problem of this, according to Allan Louden, a professor of political communication at Wake Forest University, is that it is hard to frame your message almost solely through the Internet without the blessing of the mainstream media.
"I presume it is not possible to bypass the other processes," Louden said. "If you are not a player, how can you be a player?"
While Louden believes that the Internet can be an integral component of a campaign, it cannot be successful as the only component.
"It could happen someday, but we are just not there yet," Louden said.
Chris Sinclair, a partner at Cornerstone Solutions, a political consulting and strategic communications firm, said that Internet campaigning in the present is mainly used to mobilize or complement aspects of a campaign.
"The main goal is 'How can we take online action and move it to offline action?'," Sinclair said.
The integration of the mainstream media is essential to a successful presidential campaign and is, according to Sinclair, a process that requires not only face-to-face communication but communication on a national level to validate online awareness.
Gary Johnson, meanwhile, is striving to make the best of the chances he does have on the national stage to make a lasting impression.
"What I would want people to think of me is that this guy reflects exactly what I think and he spent his whole life making those things happen," Johnson said.
Without a chance at competing though, the reality is that Johnson might be virtually nonexistent.