Johnson Polls 6% in North Carolina

Public Policy Polling is, by far, the best polling agency when it comes to including third parties in their surveys. They have included Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson in another poll, this time in North Carolina.

We also looked at what impact Gary Johnson could have as the Libertarian candidate. He gets 6% and draws slightly more from Romney than Obama, pushing the President’s lead up to 2 points at 46-44. Third party candidates tend to poll a lot better six months out from an election than they actually end up doing on election day- it seems unlikely Johnson will really get 6%.

Johnson has previously polled 15% in New Mexico, 7% in New Hampshire, and 8% in Montana.

38 thoughts on “Johnson Polls 6% in North Carolina

  1. Nick Kruse

    Public Policy Polling should do a poll where they make up a name and compare how that pretend candidate would do against Obama and Romney. That would show us if Johnson’s six percent are people that really like him or are just against Obama and Romney.

  2. Trent Hill Post author

    Nick “other/undecided” gets polled, so that covers that.

  3. Nick Kruse

    Trent- Other/Undecided could poll a lot differently than a random name. It would be interesting to see how a random name does compared to real candidates.

  4. TANSTAAFL

    “That would show us if Johnson’s six percent are people that really like him or are just against Obama and Romney.”

    Does it matter?

    A protest vote against the other two is worth the same as the vote of a hardcore supporter. The Dems and Republicans have been living off this fact for decades.

  5. Joshua

    One problem with these three-way race polls is that in many states, there won’t be just three candidates on the ballot. There might be a Libertarian and a Green and a Constitutionist and an Americans Elect candidate. (NC is usually a tough state for ballot access, but AE has already qualified for their ballot if they do nominate somebody.) The pure protest vote for someone other than a Democrat or a Republican might be split three or four ways in any given state.

  6. Trent Hill Post author

    Joshua, as I stated, it’s actually a four-way poll, which includes “undecided/others” as the 4th option.

    I’ll say this–the Libertarians ought to be hoping for AE to do well. It will get rid of the “spoiled vote” effect and help all third parties.

  7. Jed Siple

    PPP ought to do a 4-candidate poll in NC involving Obama, Romney, Johnson, and Roemer, since those are the candidates likely to be on the ballot in November.

  8. Trent Hill Post author

    Jed–I wouldnt say Roemer is “likely” yet. But I’d give him better odds over anyone else.

  9. Jed Siple

    Who else are AE gonna nominate? I honestly don’t get the hesitation of some in AE to nominate a former governor & congressman, and want to go with that Walker guy instead.

  10. Steve M

    They do ask Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion
    of Gary Johnson?

    Favorable 6% unfavorable 16% not sure 78%

    then they ask who would you vote for in a three way race between Obama, Mitt and Gary

    46%, 44%, 6% and 4%.

    It seems like every one who has a favorable opinion of Gary is supporting him.

  11. Steve M

    Hard to Tell Greg. No questions on favoribility. No incumbent president. McCain had a chance to win. If Mitt continues to have more skeletons hidden in his closet then who knows?

  12. Steve Newton

    @Greg it is worth noting that in 2008 in NC Barr ended up with about 25,000 votes.

    But Michael Munger for Governor was at about 120,000, and Chris Cole for Senate was over 130,000.

    The question would be how to pick up that missing 100,000 Libertarian voters for the Presidential race.

  13. Steve M

    Hey Steve Newton…. who are the Libertarians running for Governor this year?

  14. LISTEN anytime 24/7 to the T-Rex of Talk Radio

    WHY not do something positive this week for LIBERTY ?! Please share this plan with friends and family who will help.

    Call and Email Gallup, Rasmussen, and other national polling companies to tell them to include Gov. Gary Johnson in (ALL their POTUS) polling. (Afterall he will be eligible to compete for over 500 Electoral College Votes)

    Gov. Johnson must reach 15% in 5 polls to be included in the discriminatory “Commission on Presidential Debates”.

    Gallup: 202.715.3030 / http://www.gallup.com/poll/contactUs.aspx

    Rasmussen: 732.776.9777 / info@rasmussenreports.com

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    THANKS,

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    This email was sent to me (I shared it with you, PLEASE DO something TODAY for the LP!)

  15. TANSTAAFLUSA

    Steve M,

    Barbara Howe is the NC Gubernatorial candidate. Dr. Munger declined due to medical issues. Howe received 1.8% in 2004, but now has tax check money, no pledge drive and a much better national LP candidate. So, since NC needs 2% to maintain ballot access we are hoping we can get it.

  16. Brian Holtz

    Michael Munger for Governor was at about 120,000. The question would be how to pick up that missing 100,000 Libertarian voters for the Presidential race

    Munger for President!

  17. D. Lou Shenol

    @21 – OMG Holtz you must have the UGLIEST children in America. Please, PLEASE keep your home snapshots to yourself. I may not sleep for a week !!!

    ? – Spread the TRUE MESSAGE

    Gary Johnson is MORE qualified for the Job than Obama or Romney and would do a MUCH BETTER job than either of those FAILURES !!!

    “… Libertarian Presidential candidates often are blacklisted by the mainstream media and routinely have trouble getting the free media exposure offered to the two old party candidates. Some of the candidates would welcome the support of certain celebrities to help their election to office so they can effect the change they seek.

    Many celebrities are either self-described libertarians or often make libertarian-minded announcements in public, however rarely do they lend their fame to a Libertarian candidate running for public office. Most recently, actress Jennifer Anniston has been rumored to not only be a Libertarian, however is interested in getting involved in the Gary Johnson campaign. It is no wonder why as Johnson is in line with most Americans opinions; his only problem has been the inability to get the message out and heard.

    …Most of the American public doesn’t realize well known individuals like Clint Eastwood, Neal Peart, Howard Stern, Mark Cuban, Drew Carey, Kurt Russell, Tom Selleck, and Penn & Teller are only a small fraction of libertarian-minded celebrities in the nation.”

    Read more @ http://www.examiner.com/libertarian-in-west-palm-beach/will-libertarian-minded-celebrities-help-libertarian-candidates-2012

    Meet Gary Johnson – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boHvCmRm3SQ&feature=channel

  18. Brian Holtz

    @22 If you click the link, you’ll see that Munger uses the famous “angry baby” picture on his blog. If you don’t recognize it, maybe this will help:

  19. paulie

    Nick “other/undecided” gets polled, so that covers that.

    Not exactly. Other/undecided 3 way vs 3-way with no other undecided option would be a better control.

  20. paulie

    Does it matter?

    A protest vote against the other two is worth the same as the vote of a hardcore supporter. The Dems and Republicans have been living off this fact for decades.

    Yes, it matters.

    1) There will be multiple other options in many/most states. Far different than where Johnson is the only other option.

    2) The famous wasted vote squeeze will happen over the next few months. It will be working against us if you don’t know what I mean.

    3) I will almost guarantee that Johnson is just a generic name to 90% plus of the respondents to these polls. They have no idea who he is, what he believes, and unless the poll mentions it what party he is with. To the extent that they find out between now and election, they will find reason to not vote for us. I have seen this time and again. I can give people the quiz or answer questions and they may be 80, 90 or even 100/100 libertarians and yet they will still find a bone to pick with the LP. Do they agree with the Ds and Rs or their candidates 100%? Of course not. Yet they will still vote for them or not vote at all.

    4) Right now they are frustrated with how much the Ds and Rs suck. By November they will mostly act in fear of how bad the one that they like the least between those two sucks. The ones who are too disgusted with both to vote for either one of them will be a huge challenge to even get them to the polls at all. And we don’t have the resources for a true nationwide get out the vote effort — at least not yet. Maybe if real money comes in, but it’s a chicken and egg thing.

    5) Invent a fake candidate and do this same poll, then let me know the results. I predict they will not be much different.

    6) Even a poll just before the election will typically overstate what the alt party candidate will get on election day. Why? It is easier to express support for an other choice when it has no perceived bad consequences (causing the scary greater evil to win) or real bad consequences (causing you to miss a rerun of sportscenter or your favorite soap to spend an hour or two in line to vote for someone you know has no chance to win).

    Why am I telling you this? I want Johnson to do well, I hope he does, and I think it is plausible.

    But the deck is stacked in many ways and if we are unrealistic about what those ways are we are very likely to be disappointed with the results and end or decrease our involvement. And in the meantime, it means we do a lot of wheel spinning trying to get very low probability high payoff results like debate inclusion while in most cases ignoring the nuts and bolts of what an LP campaign can actually achieve in most cases – list building, local party building, etc.

    The trick is to create a pyramid of probabilities and build from the bottom up. Don’t ignore the possibility of a breakout. Position to take advantage of it if it happens. But spend most of your time on the things that are most likely based on past results and increasingly smaller increments of time, money or any other resources on increasingly lower probability, higher payoff outcomes.

    At the top is winning the election. Highly improbable but never completely impossible. Consider that the Mt Everest summit but that this time the climb is not with one broken leg but two. Just getting to base camp is already a victory of sorts; leverage it while planning higher levels of ascent.

  21. paulie

    PPP ought to do a 4-candidate poll in NC involving Obama, Romney, Johnson, and Roemer, since those are the candidates likely to be on the ballot in November.

    Roemer is a huge leap. Maybe but I would not bet on that yet by a long shot.

  22. paulie

    Who else are AE gonna nominate?

    They have interviewed hundreds of people of the caliber they consider worthy and all of them are either flat saying no or won’t say yes and the time to crap or get off the pot is just about gone.

    As for Roemer, depite his credentials he is not seen as a big draw for reasons I don’t care to enumerate. Someone who hates Roemer put them up in a comment earlier. If I find it and remember I may come back here and link it, we’ll see.

  23. paulie

    It seems like every one who has a favorable opinion of Gary is supporting him.

    Sure, it’s pretty easy to support him when it costs you no money, time or opportunity cost of “wasted vote” and before your friends, family, coworkers, ‘net buds, newspaper, TV, ad nauseum have spent months talking you out of it.

    If they support him with ten bucks or an hour of their time each he could do much better than any LP candidate ever and I am not ruling out the possibility, which I will do my best to help make happen. But the chances that more than 1-2% of them will put in any money or time at all are pretty low based on many past cases. And that leads to the kind of results we have had in the past. Better get ready to counter the same old stupid wasted vote nonsense so many times it will make all of our heads spin from the repetition and then keep doing it some more — and then how many of us know all the responses, much less have the time and willingness to talk to very ignorant people hours a day every day?

  24. paulie

    McCain had a chance to win.

    On which planet and what does it matter? Few people understand this stuff in that much depth. Voters in the deepest red and deepest blue states refuse to sign my petitions because they are afraid to “spoil” their chances, as if their state’s vote is in question.

    If 2008 is a bad comparison in your view try any other year you want. 2000, for example. Or any year you pick.

    Don’t get me wrong. A breakthrough IS possible. But don’t fall for meaningless spring poll hoopla to rely on predicting it.

  25. paulie

    The question would be how to pick up that missing 100,000 Libertarian voters for the Presidential race.

    By convincing them that the result of the P race is of little importance, but they should vote anyway. Good luck. I’ll be busting my ass trying even though I already know how unbelievably difficult it will be, and trying to get other people to do the same.

  26. paulie

    you must have the UGLIEST children in America.

    Low blow DLS. You lose points just by saying something that puerile even if no one thought for a minute it had any chance of being true.

    Which is really too bad when …um, never mind, I can’t talk about that.

  27. Steve M

    paulie…

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/election2008/nc.htm

    claims results were 49.9 for Obama 49.5 for McCain and .6 for Barr.

    So for the planet North Carolina it did matter. These “early” polls are important because they indicate a willingness for people to consider other options. This willingness will either grow or diminish as the election approaches.

    in 1980 the inflation rate was over 13% and alternative candidates received 8% of the presidential vote.

  28. paulie

    Oh, sorry; I thought you meant nationally.

    in 1980 the inflation rate was over 13% and alternative candidates received 8% of the presidential vote.

    True.

    However the LP got 1% and that’s a far cry from 7 or 8.

    How did Anderson’s results compare to polls?
    What about Clark’s, if he was included in any?

    I don’t know off hand.

  29. Andy

    “If they support him with ten bucks or an hour of their time each he could do much better than any LP candidate ever and I am not ruling out the possibility, which I will do my best to help make happen.”

    I’m not really on the Gary Johnson bandwagon, but I do think that he’s got a good chance to get the highest vote total in Libertarian Party history, and I say this knowing that he probably won’t be on the ballot in Oklahoma.

  30. Andy

    Of course there is still time for all kinds of screw ups for the Gary Johnson campaign, which if enough of them happen, will mean another disappointing year for the Libertarian Party.

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