Polling Shows Gary Johnson Could Be Competitive in NM in General Election

Public Policy Polling just sent out a tweet that said, “Gary Johnson polls at 23% in New Mexico as a Libertarian against Obama and Romney”

Early polls often over-estimate the strength of third party candidates, whose overall vote total tends to decline closer to election day, especially when the race is close. Johnson is, however, showing some early strength in a state that is very important to both the GOP and Democratic Party’s election chances.

Johnson is the former two term Republican Governor of the 2-to-1 Democratic state of New Mexico. He is still very well liked there and the polling hints at Johnson’s rumored switch to the Libertarian Party for a presidential run.

33 thoughts on “Polling Shows Gary Johnson Could Be Competitive in NM in General Election

  1. bruuno

    While I seriously doubt Johnson would win the state the number is important for one reason-it may catch the national media’s attention and they may actually start to give him some time.

  2. Dave

    Earlier this year Johnson led in both the Republican primary and general election for senate in New Mexico. So he’s popular enough that I think he would get double digits in that state, in a three way race.

  3. Trent Hill Post author

    It’s certainly possible. It’ll make a great argument for his nomination campaign.

  4. Gene Berkman

    In 2000 Ralph Nader is thought to have made the difference in Florida and two other states, where he received more votes than the Bush margin of victory over Gore.

    In NEW MEXICO Harry Browne received more votes than Al Gore’s margin of victory over Bush.

  5. Robert Capozzi

    5 electoral votes might be “important,” but it’s only 1% of the total. It’s more important than the 10 states that have fewer electoral votes.

    While he’s been out of office for a while, presumably GJ still has some name recognition in NM, which is a huge hurdle.

    I wonder if this is a “push” poll…

  6. Trent Hill Post author

    Robert–it’s from PPP, a VERY respected polling firm. So no.

    5 electoral votes is only 1% of the total. But it still represents 5 more than the LP has ever claimed.

  7. Robert Capozzi

    Imagine: GJ competitive in NM. He spends perhaps half his resources there. The other half he spends in a lopsided, high pop states like NY and IL.

    Could he break 1MM votes with not too much money? Conceivable.

  8. Joey Bagadonitz

    NM is a swing state.

    Johnson will not get double digits or even close there or anywhere else.

  9. Chuck Moulton

    Trent Hill wrote (@8):

    5 electoral votes is only 1% of the total. But it still represents 5 more than the LP has ever claimed.

    The LP got an electoral vote in 1972.

    So New Mexico’s 5 electoral votes would represent 4 more electoral votes than the LP has ever claimed.

  10. Mario Conde

    Would love to see Gary with the LP but I think he needs to waits the results from the Iowa Caucus since a Ron Paul victory is very possible in January. Gary Johnson could be Paul’s running mate.

  11. Mario Conde

    Exaclty. If he makes the move the LP right now that could be the biggest mistake of his political career.

  12. Gene Berkman

    Chuck @ #12 – The LP did not WIN an electoral vote in 1972. Roger MacBride was elected on the Republican slate as a Nixon elector.

    John Hospers recieved no recorded votes in the state of Virginia in 1972.

  13. Gene Berkman

    Mario @ 16 – Joey @ 15 is trying to say victory in Iowa does NOT equal GOP nomination.

    In fact, Ron Paul is so close to winning the Iowa caucuses that Rachel Maddow last night had a run down of Iowa caucus victors who failed to get the Republican nomination.

  14. Mario Conde

    @18 Gene, thanks for the observation. But in my opinion, with the irregular GOP Pres. Race, I do think that Ron Paul has a palpable chance of winning. For me, the GOP is so irregular that anyone that wins Iowa will be the candidate. Hoping for RP to win since we will now have a storng Libertarian ticket with Paul/Johnson or Paul/Huntsman.

  15. Donald Schoenstein

    First, no way the Republican establishment would allow Paul to have their nomination.

    The gloves will come off if he wins Iowa and it will be ugly, and quite possibly very dirty.

    But, if he somehow did, I do not believe he would pick Johnson as VP. He would need to consolidate as much support as he could to stand any chance against the President. That means uniting his party, by running with someone who brings him votes he would not otherwise get and activists and donors who would otherwise sit it out.

    And even if he did win the nomination and picked a VP based on affinity rather than party unification it would not be Johnson. More likely Rand Paul or perhaps Jesse Ventura.

  16. Gene Berkman

    If Ron Paul won all the Republican primaries, the Republican leadership would change the rules to deny him the nomination.

    In 2008, Paul received enough votes in primaries and caucuses to entitle him to as many as 56 delegates to the national convention. Around 40 Paul supporters received delegate positions.

    At the convention, Paul delegates in various delegations were asked by delegation chairs to either vote for McCain, or let their alternate vote for McCain, because they wanted a “unanimous” vote.

    During the roll call, 15 votes were cast for Ron Paul. I counted as the roll was called, and have since found verification on the Republican National Committee website that Paul received 15 votes, far fewer than he was entitled to.

    When John Boehner – then minority leader of the US House – announced the vote, he credited Ron Paul with 5 votes, Huckabee with 2, and McCain with all the rest.

    One benefit of the Ron Paul campaign is to show that the Republican Party will not provide the vehicle for a serious libertarian campaign for President.

  17. George Phillies

    @20, 21 At some point the Republican establishment — which can’t stand Gingrich, either, is going to get the treatment that was handed out in 1970 +/-5 to liberal Republicans who failed to support Goldwater.

  18. Trent Hill Post author

    Robert–sorry about that. I didn’t realize Phillies was referring to a push poll.

    I do think that this news really bolsters Johnson’s nascent LP campaign.

  19. Pingback: Polling Shows Gary Johnson Could Be Competitive in NM in General Election | ThirdPartyPolitics.us

  20. Robert Capozzi

    24 th, all good.

    GJ’s looking pregnant here. The trial balloons have been released. The feedback has largely been positive. The “catches” have been IDed…FAIR Tax; Gitmo; possibly just how far his anti-war/non-interventionism to satisfy the LP rank and file; lessons from the Barr campaign; others I’m not aware of.

    GJ for President as a L looks all clear.

    While that’s being prepared, we watch Paul, monitoring the resurfacing of NewsletterGate and how Team Paul handles that; the GOP’s machinations; whether AE is a go or no go; what bit part Roemer might play. By March/April-ish, the stage should be set, more or less.

    Then let the games begin.

  21. Donald Schoenstein

    At some point the Republican establishment — which can’t stand Gingrich, either, is going to get the treatment that was handed out in 1970 +/-5 to liberal Republicans who failed to support Goldwater.

    Agreed. I think that point will come around 2016 or 2020 when Rand Paul starts running for president; perhaps on his second run.

    Let’s look at the schedule; Ron Paul has a good ground game in Iowa, and Iowa is all about ground game. He could even have a chance in NH but only IF his campaign has been savvy enough to target independents this time, which they failed last time. NH will be tough to crack with Romney being from a neighboring state and the Union-Leader endorsing Gingrich.

    Then you hit Florida, South Carolina and the southern Super Tuesday states. Lots of voters primarily motivated by social conservative interventionism and foreign interventionism, and a strong deferral to authority and tradition. This will be a lot harder for Ron Paul to crack, and if he wins IA (and especially IA and NH) the media and dirty tricks guns will be aimed square at him.


    Perhaps, but he does not get to that stage unless he passes Newt and Mitt, and I don’t think he passes Newt and Mitt.

    Again, even if he does, he is rather unlikely to pick Johnson as VP. See prior comment.

    And Obama hasn’t begun attacking Paul yet.

  22. George Phillies

    Ron-Paul-Polls -Strongest…

    Mind you, I am not seriously concerned with whether a D or an R wins, but most of the other polls I have seen clearly reject this claim, and have him no better than third.

  23. Stewart Flood

    There are a lot of Ron Paul supporters in South Carolina, but four years ago it rained (and was cold) on the day of the primary, so turnout was low.

    Naturally, they blamed his poor performance (I believe it was less than 10%?) on voter fraud by the GOP establishment and not on the fact that their voters didn’t come out in the rain and the other candidate’s voters did. MAYBE he’d have done better on a clear day, but I seriously doubt he’d get enough to win, even this year.

    Yes, South Carolina republicans “talk” libertarian, but the hard-core small-government (talk only) and socially prudish (hard right wing psycho-religious-shoot-anyone-who’s-gay-or-smokes-dope) voters are the ones who always show up and they usually vote for whoever the GOP tells them to vote for.

    Is that voter fraud or simply leading the sheep?

    Lots of sheep out there…

  24. Thomas L. Knapp


    Low turnout would tend to favor Paul, not his opponents.

    Say whatever else you want about Paul, but a higher percentage of his supporters are the one who will walk five miles in the snow, uphill both ways, to support him, while the “establishment” candidates have a larger proportion of voters who might drop by the polling place and pick the name they’ve heard the most times on Fox News, if they have time and if there’s not a Gilligan’s Island re-run they really want to get home to catch.

  25. LibertarianGirl

    Stewart , did you send my pic of me and Jim Lark? I did not recieve it , maybe just post it on my FB wall. sorry to keep nagging you about it but Lark is like my favorite Libertarian and I have a huge crush on him:)

    also everyone , Im on as a delegate from Alabama , a big thank you to Paulie and Mark Bodenhausen…. see you all in May!!

    1more thing completely unrelated . You or someone had reported getting a stomach flu here , well over 300 people competing in the Santa Run in Vegas that weekend also got some sort of food poisoning-stomach flu and they were not at RedRock…

    you may now return to the actual topic in this thread…:)

  26. Gene Trosper

    Mario @ 14: It’s doubtful that Gary Johnson will be Ron Paul’s running mate. On numerous occasions, Dr. Paul has volunteered Andrew Napolitano’s name as a possibility.

    Gene Berkman @ #21 wrote: “If Ron Paul won all the Republican primaries, the Republican leadership would change the rules to deny him the nomination.”

    True enough. That is perversely one of the benefits to Ron Paul’s campaign: to expose the corrupt, power-mad structure of the two majority parties. What’s that old saying about light being the best disinfectant? Highly doubtful the majority of voters will pay much attention — how else can one explain New Gingrich’s popularity? Clearly, Most people are not paying attention. However, it would add to what I am calling “the great awakening” among Americans. The liberty movement is not only growing by leaps and bounds due to Ron Paul’s fantastic campaign, but people are waking up to the threat political power poses.

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