In a testament to how unpopular the candidates put up by the Republicans and Democrats are this election season, the parties that normally couldn’t get the time of day are receiving abnormal amounts of attention and support.
Specifically, Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party, and Jill Stein of the Green Party.
Stein and the Green Party, while seeing a rise in support, hasn’t really gotten far. Since last month, her numbers have gone from 2.5% to 3.5%. While Stein may see a bump in approval before November, the Green Party has the problem of not appearing on ballots in various states, including certain swing states.
This is not a problem Gary Johnson and the Libertarian party are having, however.
Johnson’s rise has been somewhat more substantial, as one survey has him going from 4.5% to 7.2%. Johnson is also set to appear on ballots in all 50 states, giving him not only a 3rd party advantage, but something of a way out for disaffected voters from both right and left parties.
As reported last week, a CNN poll found that a whopping 17% of voters has abandoned the Republican party, and of those, 13% have now settled into the Libertarian party to support Johnson.
It should also be remembered that Johnson is polling in 13% in another poll, and has recently received a massive boost in campaign funding through his “money comet.” He is beginning to get endorsements from well known names such as Glenn Beck, with rumors of Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney endorsing floating through the air.
While a lot of this is good, experts still believe that Johnson doesn’t have much of a chance of claiming the White House. Regardless, Johnson is still a dangerous man to both parties who are currently vying for the top spot. The Libertarian party is definitely stealing thunder in certain states, a fact that Patrick Murray, the Monmouth University pollster thinks should be paid close attention to.
From the Hill:
“This is why the national polling isn’t all that important anyways, it’s state by state, how close are these states, what are these candidates doing, and are they polling disproportionately in the state?”
Johnson and Stein will likely perform better in some heavily partisan states where voters don’t feel that their vote will actually matter, but Johnson specifically is showing traction in some closer ones.
Utah is fertile ground for Johnson right now, as an internal poll from Republican Rep. Mia Love’s campaign found him just 3 points behind Trump and 1 point behind Clinton, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
And Johnson has scored in the high single digits in polls of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania while netting 10 percent in New Hampshire, according to recent Quinnipiac figures. And out of the swing states in the 2012 election where the final margin was within 7 percent, Johnson is pulling 4 percent in the Monmouth surveys.
A lot can happen between now and November, but one thing is for sure, whether Johnson makes the debate stage or not, his presence in the general election will be felt.