Friday, June 15, 2012

Reuters: Gary Johnson could tip the balance in Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona

An unusually thoughtful analysis of Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson's ability to shape the race out west.

A couple of snippets:
Johnson, who left the Republican Party in December after his presidential bid could not get traction there, has entered the summer campaign season carrying just enough weight to be a factor in the fall.

Johnson hopes that enthusiasm for Paul in Nevada will transfer to him.
His views have some appeal in Nevada. He would like to sell off federal lands, a perpetual gripe in a state where the federal government owns more than 80 percent of the land.
Johnson's stance that government should not impose moral values is suited to the gambling city of Las Vegas, which hosted last month's Libertarian Party convention where Johnson won the party's nomination for president.
"I don't think a lot of Republicans in the state are sold on Romney," said David Damore, a professor of political science at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. "There's an opportunity for Johnson to siphon some votes here."
In Colorado, the birthplace of the Libertarian Party, Johnson may get an extra jolt at the polls for his steadfast support for easing restrictions on marijuana. In November, Coloradans will vote on a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana and regulate the drug like alcohol.
"Gary Johnson could land up having a surprisingly impressive showing in a state like Colorado," said Ethan Naddelmann, founder and executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, which supports easing drug laws. "It's possible that the Libertarian vote could make the difference."

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