Even though he won’t be at the first debate, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson is still making an impact on the 2016 presidential contest. But not in the way you might think.
Well, we’re in the thick of it. As we count down the days left till November 8th – by our count it’s 50 – we’ll be giving a daily thought on the state of the 2016 elections. If you want us to talk about a certain topic or issue for this feature, leave it in the comments section at this post or email it to us at contact[AT]thepostturtle.com, with “50 Days, 50 Thoughts” as the title. In this installment, we’ll be talking about Gary Johnson – 3rd Party Libertarian candidate – and his influence in the 2016 presidential contest.
It was reported on Monday that Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson did not qualify for the first presidential debate that is to be held on September 26th. Johnson needed to break the 15% threshold in the polls to qualify, and currently he’s hovering just under 10% of the vote. So you’d be forgiven for thinking the Johnson has had very little impact on the 2016 presidential election thus far. Yet that’s not necessarily the case and his effect has been somewhat unconventional.
Recently FiveThirtyEight did a piece on Millennials loving President Barack Obama, but being lukewarm when it came to supporting Hillary Clinton. In the piece there was a surprising chart that caught our attention.
Among the 18-24 age group, there is a 10-point loss for Clinton when there are four candidates on the ballot rather than two. What’s crazier is that these individuals – that would vote Democrat – aren’t voting for the Green Party candidate Jill Stein, but for the Libertarian candidate Johnson! So why would people, who most likely voted for a Socialist-Democrat like Bernie Sanders during the Democratic primaries, vote for such a hardline Libertarian like Johnson??
Your guess is good as ours…
Our take, voting for Johnson acts like a protest vote against the Democratic Establishment pick (ie like Clinton) without giving their direct support to Donald Trump. But if Clinton is to win the general election, she eventually will have to bring some of them back into the fold.
(Photo Credits: CNN YouTube Channel, FiveThirtyEight)