In the latest public opinion poll conducted by Pulse Research on behalf of the Libertarian Action Super PAC, Gary Johnson received 24% support nationwide. This is twenty five percent better than the previous one by the same organization, in which he scored 19%. President Obama still leads him by 21 points, however Johnson appears to be rapidly closing the gap.
27% prefer some other candidate, (presumably Ron Paul or Mitt Romney) while 3% are undecided. The question asked was, “Suppose in this year’s Presidential Election you had a choice of Libertarian Gary Johnson or Democrat Barack Obama. If the election were held today would you vote for Libertarian Gary Johnson or Democrat Barack Obama?”
In standard two candidate polls, the choices are usually between Romney and Obama. Rasmussen currently has this type of poll with both candidates in the low to mid 40s with Romney currently leading by a narrow margin and 4/6% for some other candidate.
This calls into question the validity of the current Republican vs. Democrat polling. While it can be argued that in the absence of Romney and Paul may cause Obama opponents to vote for Johnson as the Not-Obama, the same can be argued of libertarians in the absence of Johnson. The only way to attain a true result is to include the LP Nominee.
The Examiner reports:
Many will point out that the poll does not include Mitt Romney. Therefore, why is this poll relevant.There is no reason not to include Johnson. The LP has attained ballot status in all fifty states, and while the GOP is attempting to use lawyers to get them off the ballot in several of these, we have a serious candidate here.
If one were to take a look at any of several nationwide polls, the wording is nearly identical, with the only exception being that these polls only include Obama and Romney. According to the rules of the Commission on Presidential Debates, the organization controlled by Democrats and Republicans that oversees the presidential debates, a candidate must achieve 15 percent in nationwide polling to be allowed to participate in the debates.
The Commission on Presidential Debates must be consistent. If two-candidate polls that include Obama and Romney are valid, this one is as well and Gary Johnson seems to meet the criteria to participate in the debates. At the very least, the CPD should pressure major polling organizations to include Johnson's name in order to level the playing field.
The last third party candidate to participate in a presidential debate was Ross Perot in 1992, at which point the CPD implemented the current polling threshold which many see as arbitrary. There is currently an effort on Facebook to convince the CPD to allow Gary Johnson to participate in the debates in spite of its irrational selection criteria.