Libertarians are a huge wildcard in the 2016 elections. So big, in fact, they could be a major factor in helping one party in particular gain the White House.
Gary Johnson, the Libertarian nominee, is appealing to factions in both major parties. For the Republicans, he finds common ground on the principles of limited government. With Democrats, he connects with those who entertain more liberal social ideas like abortion, LGBT rights… and pot.
But in the polls, Johnson is taking a sizable chunk of the electorate—over 10% in some instances. If the upward trend continues, this could be enough to put him on stage with Hillary and Donald in the fall. However, no one—including Johnson himself—thinks the Libertarians have a real shot at the presidency in 2016, other than some crazy conspiracy theories. But he could play a major role in deciding whether we say hello to a President Trump, or a President Clinton (grimace), in 2017.
Hot Air reports:
Libertarians believe in a much smaller federal government than the GOP does, focusing on free trade vs. endless wars, and letting consenting adults do what they want to do in the bedroom. This isn’t stopping Republicans from pushing the entire, “A vote for Gary Johnson is a vote for Hillary Clinton,” claim.
There’s also the fact the Libertarian ticket of Gary Johnson and Bill Weld is actually taking more votes away from Clinton, than Trump.
This is coming up consistently in the polling numbers.
Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight.com found this: The majority of pollsters (12) have Clinton’s margin over Trump shrinking when at least one third-party candidate is included… Overall, including third-party candidates takes about 1 percentage point away from Clinton’s margin, on average.
Johnson had a pretty good explanation why he’s taking votes from Clinton. Via Los Angeles Times: Well I think that’s the social side of this. Choice. A woman’s right to choose. Marriage equality. Let’s stop dropping bombs. This is also appealing to Bernie voters — crony capitalism, it is alive and well.
Well, that is Johnson’s explanation. Ultimately, if the support continues, Americans may be seeing the devastating effects of the Democrat disunity and Bernie’s defection on display. There is a significant chunk of super-liberal voter who could not ever be swayed to vote for a Republican, but they also cannot stand to vote for an entrenched establishment elitist like Hillary. The Libertarians have decided to appeal more to the left than to the right and this is giving Trump extra help. He probably doesn’t need the “Ross Perot” bump, but as a master businessman, I’m sure he’ll take the deal.
Source: Hot Air