Gary Johnson, Libertarian Spoiler?
Will Libertarian Party presidential candidate siphon off enough Romney votes to swing a few states back into blue territory for President Obama? Fox News worries about a reverse Ralph Nader for the GOP:
The Libertarian Party is now touting that possibility. An emailed statement from the organization earlier this week carried a rather sensational subject line: "Libertarian Presidential Candidate Gov. Gary Johnson Could Deprive Mitt Romney of 5 battleground states, 74 Electoral Votes, 27% of the Electoral Votes needed to win in 2012." Libertarians reasoned Johnson, then, "could determine the winner" of the election. It's impossible to gauge at this point what effect Johnson could have, but of course it's not unprecedented for a third-party candidate to tilt the scales. In 1992, third-party candidate Ross Perot won roughly 19 percent of the popular vote, which many people think cut into GOP incumbent George H.W. Bush's take and put Democratic candidate Bill Clinton in the Oval Office with just 43 percent of the vote. Though Johnson is polling barely above 5 percent nationwide, Romney and Obama are separated by single digits in the battleground states of Colorado, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina and Virginia.The above-linked article adds another wrinkle regarding Colorado: "The survey found Obama leading Romney 49-43 percent, but his lead was cut to 46-42 when voters were given the Johnson choice." (Tipped by JMG readers Wayne and PGHMike)