Gary Johnson’s ShadowJuly 19, 2012Posted in Blog, News
By Charles Mahtesian
There’s fresh polling data out of New Mexico, where the presidential race appears to have tightened and there are signs that the state’s former GOP Gov. Gary Johnson could have an effect on the outcome in November.
While President Obama has held a double digit lead in most New Mexico polls to date, the latest Public Policy Polling automated survey reports that Mitt Romney has closed to within five points, 49 percent to 44 percent.
But that’s just when Obama and Romney are tested. When the Democratic polling firm places Johnson in the mix, Obama’s lead shrinks to 42-38, with Johnson drawing 13 percent.
The crosstabs show Johnson, the Libertarian Party nominee, takes a bite out of Romney’s hide in a three-way matchup, but also does damage to Obama as well because he picks up 24 percent of the independent/other vote.
When pitted against Romney alone, Obama takes 47 percent of the independent/other vote. With Johnson in the matchup, Obama takes just 34 percent.
Johnson’s numbers, however, aren’t necessarily stellar – he’s down 10 points from December, when another PPP poll had him at 23 percent. And his favorability rating is upside down at 39 percent favorable and 40 percent unfavorable.
It’s worth noting that Johnson’s numbers could continue to be fluid. Third-party candidates tend to fade in the polls over time, but Johnson, as a former two-term governor, is no ordinary third-party candidate.