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Dec 22, 2011

Johnson will do well in NM as a libertarian.

There are currently conflicting reports as to the intentions of Presidential candidate Gary Johnson, with Town hall and others reporting he is definitely switching to LP, while Johnson himself stating that he hasn’t made up his mind but will make an announcement in the near future. He has been buoyed by the results of a PPP poll, which indicates substantial support for him as a third party candidate in his home state.

From Santa Fe New Mexican:

Former Gov. Gary Johnson could be a big factor in the race for New Mexico's five electoral votes if he runs for president on the Libertarian ticket, according to the results of the latest Public Policy Poll of New Mexico voters, released Friday.

Johnson, in a Friday interview at the state Capitol, said he hasn't completely made up his mind about seeking the Libertarian nod. But he sounded like that's the direction he's heading in. He said he'd probably make an announcement of his plans in New Mexico in the near future.

According to the poll, in a race between Johnson, President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Obama would get 44 percent, Romney would get 27 percent and Johnson would get 23 percent.

If the current front-runner, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, is the GOP candidate, Obama would get 45 percent, Gingrich 28 percent and Johnson would get 20 percent.

"As a third-party candidate, Johnson would draw 26-30 percent of the Republican votes, 12-16 percent of Democrats, and actually win independents with 31-33 percent," the PPP polling memo said.

Johnson was happy about the poll results, noting that if he actually won the state, he'd be the first Libertarian to win any electoral votes in New Mexico.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out, as figures based on speculation of a switch will definitely change if it becomes certain. With a definite LP bid it is quite possible that his figures could rise. Polling is indicating that without Johnson in the race, Obama would defeat Romney in New Mexico by 15 percentage points and Gingrich by 17 percentage points, according to the poll.

The big danger for Republicans is that good polling for Johnson in NM will bring a great deal more attention on his campaign, enabling him to score better in the remaining states, possibly well enough to change the balance. Indications are that he would draw between 26 and 30% of GOP votes, between 12 and 16% of Democratic votes and win independents with over 30%.

Update: Switch appears to be on.
Governor Johnson will be holding a News Conference on December 28th, 2011 at 10AM MST. It will be held at the Santa Fe, NM State Capital building, in the Rotunda. We look forward to seeing you in attendance. If you do come, please contact the Marriott Courtyard Santa Fe at (505) 473-2800 and tell them you're with Gary Johnson and get a discounted room rate beginning on the 27th.

If you are unable to make it, it will be streamed live on or


  1. Johnson definitely has been unfairly left out of the latest debates but I'm wondering how many votes he'll take away from Paul. Sure, I'd support Johnson over Paul and I think Johnson entering as a Libertarian only improves the movement but if Paul has a chance at being elected, I think Johnson's continuance would negatively hurt Paul's campaign.

  2. Gary Johnson might be the more ideal libertarian but I reckon that Ron Paul's probably a better candidate and in a better position. They're both pretty consistent and seem to distinguish between their personal beliefs (e.g. taking drugs is stupid) and the demands of real freedom (stupidity shouldn't be illegal), but in Paul's favour he's proven harder to marginalise and there are people speculating that he might win in Iowa in a week and half's time. That could make things interesting. There's also the fact he's in as a Republican, and while I wish that more people would look beyond the main two parties the reality is - and not just in the US - that many millions are happy to say "Don't blame us, we voted for Kodos."

    My US politics fantasy: Paul/Johnson 2012 (or the other way round if you prefer). "Change that actually means something substantive."

  3. The media have been enjoying slamming every frontrunner so far and I notice they have raised the hoary old issue of the 'racist' newsletters which were actually done by Lew Rockwell under the Paul banner. I seriously doubt that between media and Republican establishment that Paul will win.

    Given that Gary is a successful two term governor of a state that mainly swings the other way, governed as a libertarian and still got reelected with an increased majority, I believe the press and establishment were very afraid of him.

    Had Johnson been given a fair go and failed, I doubt that he would be contemplating a third party run. The GOP can blame themselves for any repercussions of their failure to back him.

  4. Just seen elsewhere that The Speccie is actually reporting that he's favourite to win in Iowa. Interestingly the first sentence describes him as "libertarian congressman Ron Paul". Could a win in Iowa, if it happens, lead to the nomination? Pretty unlikely - as you said, the media and Republican party will do their best to stop it. But it might have a moderating influence on the position of other candidates about a few things.

    Agree about Johnson though. He was written off by the media at the earliest opportunity and got no favours and less coverage, and then frozen out of debates on the grounds that his support wasn't high enough. Yeah, well, people not being told that he was in it would do that *rolls eyes*. Mightn't be a bad thing in fact. I just looked up when the GOP's New Mexico primary is and it's one of the last. The way things are going he'd have probably had to drop out by then, but as a third party candidate he can stay involved. Again, chances of winning the presidential election aren't all that flash but it could sway the positions of the others.

  5. Ron will have a moderating influence if he keeps doing well, the next best option is for Johnson to be seen to pull heavy support on the LP ticket, something that is not improbable. If he were to start puling good figures it would really toss the cat among the pigeons until the general.

    In retrospect, were Paul to be the eventual nominee, the effect of Johnson pulling from the GOP would be minimised and his drawing power from socially liberal Democrats could swing the election.

    If on the other hand the nominee is a gig government RINO, he could destroy them.