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Gary Johnson not fading in polls--could be spoiler in as many as 10 states

Here are the current poll numbers for Libertarian Gary Johnson compared to the respective leads for either Obama or Romney in several states:

Ohio:  after the outlier 10.6% showing for Johnson in an earlier poll, CNN shows him now at 3%, which exactly covers the difference between Obama and Romney.

Pennsylvania:  Obama's lead over Romney has shrunk to 2%; Johnson is currently polling at 3%.

Colorado:  Obama leads Romney by a razor thin margin of perhaps 1%; Johnson is currently polling at 7%.

Nevada:  Obama leads Romney by 4.6%; Johnson is currently polling at 3%.

New Hampshire:  Obama leads Romney by 6%; Johnson is currently polling 7%.

Virginia:  Obama leads Romney by 1-2%.  Johnson is currently polling 4%.

Wisconsin:  Obama leads Romney by 6.6%.  Johnson is currently polling 6%.

In North Carolina and Florida the polls so far do not include Johnson, but in Florida where he is the only other name on the ballot, the polls shows show the race between Obama and Romney virtually deadlocked, with about 8% preferring "someone else."  In North Carolina the polls show the Romney/Obama difference at about 1% either way; Libertarian candidates in NC in 2008 picked up more than 3% of the vote.

Three observations:

1.  Johnson right now is threatening Mitt Romney more than Barack Obama; his numbers are not fading a month out from the election, but holding steady in the 3-4% range.

2.  Statistically, with 10 states in potential "spoiler" play (and I haven't counted Oregon or New Mexico), there are very good odds that his vote on November 6 will tilt the election one way or the other.

3.  The Johnson campaign must grow the vote by another 1-2% before election day.  3-4% will spoil some states, but 5% is necessary to qualify for Federal matching funds in 2016.


Duffy said…
I think you may be overstating people's commitment to Johnson specifically and Libertarian generally. If I had to read the tea leaves, I'd say that when polled people support Libertarian candidates on a philosophical basis. When it comes time to pull the lever they either get cold feet or go for the more pragmatic choice and pick either major party candidate (I'm asssuming R more than D. YMMV).

In battleground states I think this is ever more likely. If you're in a "safe" state by either party (think Utah or California) you can safely pull the lever for the L party knowing you won't be deciding much of anything and you'd be registered as a protest vote. Not so much in Ohio.
Duffy I don't diagree with the fade effect in general, but I do think this year is a little different on two counts

1. Gary Johnson is actually running a national campaign. Low-budget, but getting reasonably good regional and lower-tier national coverage.

2. Most of the time the fade effect is fully noticeable by mid-October. It has already happened to Virgil Goode and to Jill Stein. But Gary's numbers are holding strong far later than usual.

Even so, note that out of 10 possible spoiler states, I am only predicting 1, at most 2, to occur. Spoilers do occur. Nader not hanging chads spoiled Florida for Gore in 2000, and Bob Barr spoiled North Carolina for McCain in 2008.
Unknown said…
I am a democrat that promises you I am going to vote for Johnson when I get to the polls. Obama has not met up to my expectations as a president and well...Romney just isnt a realistic choice for me. I dont live in a swing state (Wv.) but I feel if I did, I would still vote for this man. Better solutions to our problems. Just my opinion.
paulie said…
Obama has 99 problems but Willard's not one

Anonymous said…
The Military Industrial Complex owns and controls the major media and POLLSTERS. I'm supporting the BEST candidate in this race ! One vote is like tinkling in the Atlantic, in the overall scheme it matters little. That's why I use it to send the crooks a message ...Vote for GARY JOHNSON 2012

Got Jobs? Johnson, Romney, Obama -

Who is Gov. Gary Johnson?

*Gov. Johnson is a Highly Successful former two-term Governor of New Mexico.

*Gov. Johnson has the most executive experience of any candidate in the race.

*Gov. Johnson is the most fiscally conservative Governor in the country.

*Gov. Johnson vetoed more (wasteful,unneeded) bills than his contemporary 49 Governors combined.

*During his time, Gov. Johnson was one of only 4 Governors to leave their state with a balanced budget.

*Gov. Johnson cut taxes 14 times.

*Gov. Johnson has the best record on jobs growth of any official presidential candidate, according to a National Review report.

*According to a Public Policy Poll, Gov. Gary Johnson is the only Republican presidential candidate who is still popular in his home state, which also happens to be 2-1 Democrat.

*Gov. Johnson has the record and the serious policy proposals needed to bring common sense back to Washington DC and put our country back on the right track.

*Imagine a balanced budget in 2013, less taxes taken out of your paycheck, a responsible monetary policy, health care entrepreneurs unleashed on a free market, a real national defense instead of nation-building, and an administration for whom WORK is not a four-letter word.

Anti-Obama 2012 -

Still Voting For 'Mitt Romney'? -
Anonymous said…
It's truly amusing how you bask in your idiocy, and think that you actually achieve something by attempting to get Obama re-elected.
Closet socialists.
Thanks for dropping by again, Eric. Or Eric clone. It really doesn't matter. Don't feel obligated to bask.

As for getting Obama re-elected, the Republicans have been working toward that end for the past four years.

Who am I to get in their way?

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