Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Johnson polls best for a 3rd party in 20 years

Blog: Libertarian Johnson polling better than any 3rd-party candidate since Perot - Rick Moran, American Thinker::

May 25, 2016 - "The 2012 Libertarian candidate for president, Gary Johnson, is showing surprising strength in early polls against Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

"Johnson received less than 1% of the vote in 2012, but he got 1.2 million votes – a Libertarian party record. He is vying for the nomination against two lesser known candidates – radio talker and activist Austin Peterson and former fugitive John McAfee.

"But with the strong negative feelings by voters against both Trump and Clinton, Johnson, if he gets the nomination, has an opportunity to upend the race.  He is currently polling at 10%, which is the best showing by a third-party candidate since Ross Perot in 1996...

"How have third-party candidates polled recently? Johnson ran as the Libertarian candidate in 2012, and won about 1 percent of the national vote, becoming the most successful Libertarian candidate ever; in polls done in May and June of 2012, he was polling at 2 percent. Bob Barr, the Libertarian nominee in 2008, also polled at 2 percent in the late spring of that year.

"Johnson, the former Republican governor of New Mexico, may not be the most dynamic candidate in the race, but he has experience running a national campaign and may have access to some big donors. His pick for vice president, former Massachusetts governor William Weld, was the attorney for casino mogul Steve Wynn, who is likely to back the Libertarian candidate this election cycle. Considering that Johnson raised only $2 million in 2012, a big infusion of cash into his campaign would certainly make him more visible and potentially competitive in some states.

"The question of whom he would draw more votes from, Republicans or Democrats, is unanswerable at this point. Conventional wisdom says he would take far more Republican votes away from Trump. But this election is different. It is shaping up to be a non-ideological election, so Johnson has the potential to take a rougly equal number of voters from both sides.

"What usually happens with third-party candidates is that they poll well in the spring and the summer and then fade away to nothing in the fall. But nothing about this race is 'usual,' which is why the Libertarian Party convention next [weekend] bears watching."

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