Friday, December 16, 2011


Public Policy Polling just did a survey on the presidential election in New Mexico. In addition to testing Obama versus Romney and Gingrich, PPP asked about three-way races involving Gary Johnson, a former governor of the state, who's planning a presidential run as a Libertarian. Interesting results:

Romney matches McCain's 15 point margin of defeat, trailing [Obama] 53-38.... Gingrich trails 56-39.

... 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....

(Emphasis added.)

This is why I expressed skepticism last week about George Will's contention that Ron Paul, if he ran third-party, would pull at least 80% of his vote from the Republican nominee. I'd say the same about Johnson -- in all likelihood he'd do much better in his home state than anywhere else, but given the way the Libertarian message appeals to a drug-legalization-and-anti-militarism crowd as well as a small-government crowd, I think he could draw votes away from Obama nationwide, as well as from the Republican. No, not significant numbers of votes -- but in a state race that's tight, even a percentage point or two might be significant (see: Florida 2000).

And given the superiority of the GOP noise machine, I wonder whether the right-wing public can be dissuaded from voting for whichever of these guys might be on the ballot -- while liberal-leaners stick around.

But the most likely outcome is that a Libertarian run hurts neither side, or hurts one side only slightly. At that point, the only question is what kind of numbers a Lib candidate could ring up. This year, who the hell knows?

1 comment:

c u n d gulag said...

"At that point, the only question is what kind of numbers a Lib candidate could ring up."


Ok, maybe I'll believe it IF you can find me a LIB candidate!

Who, outside of Russ Feingold or Barney Frank is available?

I'm sorry, I love you - but that there's some really funny shit!

More likely, watch for one of the disillusioned imbeciles on the Right to run a vanity campaign.
Texas Rick.
Frothy Rick.
The girl with the faraway eyes.

When you find a Liberal, you tell me, and then I'll worry about it!