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May 11, 2012

Can Johnson swing the election?

One of the usual criticisms of third party candidates in any election and especially strong third party candidates is the old claim that they will rob the candidate that the critic supports of his God given right to be President. In this US cycle, Republicans who opted to allow MSNBC to vet their candidates are hitting LP Nominee Gary Johnson with that claim.

Johnson denies it and believes he can take substantially more votes off the Democrats:
Would Johnson take votes away from the eventual GOP nominee and perhaps throw the electoral votes of key states to Obama? Without hesitation, he shot back: “I reject that analysis. You’re saying that people who support marriage equality [gay marriage], ending our military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and smoking marijuana would vote for the Republican candidate if I wasn’t in the race?”

Although believing he would take more votes from among Democrats and independents than Republicans, Johnson did concede that some of his agenda and his record as governor of the Land of Enchantment — including 750 vetoes and cutting taxes 14 times — might appeal to conservatives. He also believes in abolishing the corporate, capital gains and income taxes in favor of a consumption (or “Fair”) tax, not unlike Mike Huckabee’s proposal in 2008.
According to a recent Rasmussen survey, he is probably correct in this assumption. Although the survey was done on the basis of Ron Paul standing as an independent, it is reasonable to assume that were Ron not to do so, a fair swag of his support would go to Johnson:

Texas Congressman Ron Paul appears more interested in influencing the direction of the Republican Party than in running as an independent presidential candidate. But perhaps Democrats should be careful what they wish for: Even if Mitt Romney’s remaining GOP challenger should run as a third party candidate, new Rasmussen Reports surveying finds Romney the winner of a three-way race.

The latest national telephone survey shows that 25% of Likely U.S. Voters think Paul should run as a third party candidate. Sixty-one percent (61%) disagree, but 13% more are not sure.
At the time the poll was taken, Romney was leading Obama by the same margin, indicating that Paul was getting equal support from both sides. Assuming Paul does not run, and much of his support migrates to Johnson to add to his 3-5% support, Johnson is likely to get into the 15% range he is hoping for to get into the debates.

Disillusioned Democrats may be more prepared to support Gary than Ron. Gary, unlike Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin, and Bob Barr, has not been profiled by DHS or MIAC as potential insurrectionist militia leaders, nor have his supporters been considered by those ‘august’ bodies as possible terrorists.

Which ever way it goes, it is typical of the arrogance and imperious nature of the established major parties to believe that all others should stand aside for them to have a clear run at being the ‘ins and outs’ after the election. Ruling classes have never exhibited much other than disdain and contempt for their downtrodden.

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