Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Public Policy Polling: Libertarian Gary Johnson at 9%

This is an interesting development:
One thing that could make the race more competitive in Arizona, perhaps more so than other states, is Gary Johnson's presence on the ballot as the Libertarian candidate.  He pulls 9% in Arizona and he takes a lot more support away from Romney than he does Obama, narrowing Romney's lead in the state to 45-41. History suggests it's quite unlikely Johnson would really pull 9% in the end but it shows how many voters are unhappy with their main choices in this race.
Actually, the poll's internals show that Gary Johnson does better with the very liberal and very conservative ends of the spectrum than he does with the middle.

But here's why this is interesting:
Arizona's still within the realm of possibility for Obama but he's going to have to really step it up with white voters to make it more competitive.
If President Obama chooses to make a battleground out of Arizona, then Mitt Romney is going to have to do the unthinkable:  pay attention to the Libertarian candidate.  Romney will have to attack Gary Johnson in order to get back the 5% that the former New Mexico governor is siphoning off.

And if Romney attacks Johnson that will mean more attention on his candidacy.

Remember:  at this stage of the game it doesn't matter if they are saying nice things about Gary, it only matters that they're talking about him.

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