Gary Johnson’s Splash
There is always a great fear from a major party candidate of a third party candidate taking votes. Ross Perot is the famous case that many blame as the reason George P. Bush did not win his second term as president. And when Donald Trump first declared he was running for the Republican nomination, there were many feelings of deja vu that this would be a Ross Perot situation all over again. They thought that Trump would obviously lose the Republican nomination, but because of his personality, he would run anyway as a third party candidate-thus, taking the votes away from the Republican Party nominee which would end up giving the win to Clinton. This was such a concern, that Reince Priebus had all the nominees sign the pledge that they would not run as a third party candidate if they lost the primary. The main point of this was to prevent Trump from leaving the party. There was much anticipation if Trump would sign the pledge or not. Ironically, it is the other candidates who have broken the pledge-such as Jeb Bush who said he will not vote for the Republican candidate.
Well, in this election where nothing is according to plan, and everything is far from a normal election cycle, the outcome could not have been more different. Instead, Trump won the nomination with more votes than any other Republican nominee in history. Even if the Republican Party did not want to accept Trump, because of his numbers, they had no other choice.
And now, there is another wild card coming into play. There are two third party candidates. Governor Gary Johnson from the Libertarian party, and Dr. Jill Stein from the Green Party, have captured the limelight as options for two notably unpopular candidates. Their platform is largely that if you do not think you have an option, it’s time to realize that there are four people in this race, not two. It is considered that Jill Stein will take votes from the Democratic Party, and Gary Johnson will take votes from the Republican Party.
In recent polls, it appears that Gary Johnson is taking votes away from Hillary Clinton- not Donald Trump. Johnson appeals more to Bernie Sanders type of Democrats. His Libertarian agenda has some serious cross overs. For those who feel betrayed by Clinton and the Democrat National Committee have found that there is actually another option, and parts of the other option’s platform is better than Clinton’s corruption.
While some polls show that Johnson is taking from both Trump and Clinton, one poll in particular sheds light on an important part. 60% of Clinton supporters want to see Johnson on the debate stage, 10% more than Trump supporters who want the same.
If Johnson pulls voters from Clinton in battleground states, Clinton may feel the third party effect in such a way that it costs her the White House.
Polls have also shown that while Clinton is ahead of Trump when it comes to the under 35 vote, this demographic is more likely to vote for a third party candidate.