With Gary Johnson all but having officially announced that he will seek the Libertarian Party’s nomination for President, Public Policy Polling included him in a poll of voters in his home state. The result? While short of Obama by a distant 21%, Johnson trails Mitt Romney by a mere 4%.
Americans are more fed up than ever with the 2 main political parties right now so we also looked to see how Gary Johnson might do in his home state running as a Libertarian and the answer is pretty darn well. In a 3 way contest with Obama and Romney he gets 23% with Obama at 44% and Romney at 27%. And in a 3 way with Gingrich, Johnson gets 20% to 45% for Obama and 28% for Gingrich.
What’s interesting about Johnson’s support is that he’s pulling a fair amount from both sides. His supporters in the match up with Obama and Romney go just 47-33 for Romney in a head to head contest. And his supporters against Obama and Gingrich actually vote for Obama 47-40 in a head to head. So Johnson’s pulling from across the spectrum. Just because he’s doing that in New Mexico doesn’t really say anything about his ability to do it on a broader scale but it shows that with folks who are familiar with his message he has support across the spectrum.
Such a finish for Johnson would be the strongest result by a Libertarian presidential candidate in the party’s history. At 23%, the former New Mexico governor has a great starting line for his Libertarian campaign, having yet to actually exit the Republican Party. If he can build a national campaign and garner a finish within the ballpark of the results of this poll, Gary Johnson can show that a significant number of Americans are fed up with the two major parties and perhaps lay the foundation for a competitive third party.
If, by some chance, a Libertarian Gary Johnson could win New Mexico, he could give birth to an all new partisan libertarian movement.