Libertarian candidate for president Gary Johnson has surged to national attention amidst widely reported dissatisfaction with Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump. Johnson, a former Republican, has benefited from Donald Trump’s departure from GOP orthodoxy and from Bernie Sanders’ strong primary campaign, with some voters who supported Sanders refusing Clinton and looking for options.
Johnson, a former New Mexico governor, is polling at 10% in some polls, more than enough to act as a spoiler. (If he gets to 15% he’ll be able to join the televised debates, where the networks — poised for the most watched debates in history — will receive him the way the Beatles took to Yoko.) The last time a third party candidate had a major impact on an election was when Ralph Nader played a controversial spoiler role in the contested 2000 election that sent George W. Bush to the White House. Before that independent Ross Perot won 19% of the vote, dividing Republicans and allowing Bill Clinton to defeat Bush’s incumbent father, George H.W. Bush, in 1992.
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— Gov. Gary Johnson (@GovGaryJohnson) September 6, 2016