Election 2016

Libertarian Gary Johnson Could Pull Support From Both Clinton and Trump

The Libertarian Party candidate got double digit support in a new poll, pulling hypothetical voters from both the Trump and Clinton camps.


Gage Skidmore/Flickr

A new national poll from Monmouth University explores how things would shake out in a three-way contest between Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and libertarian hopeful Gary Johnson. While support for Clinton and Trump far outpaces love for the Libertarian Party (LP) candidate, Johnson did wind up polling in the double-digits, with support pulled from both the Trump and Clinton camps. 

In a hypothetical two-way race between Clinton and Trump race, 48 percent of poll respondents chose Clinton and 38 percent chose Trump. But enter Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico (as a Republican) and the current frontrunner among LP presidential candidates. With Johnson in the mix, Clinton earned just 42 percent of the hypothetical vote and Trump just 34 percent.

Johnson, meanwhile, was the top choice for 11 percent of those polled. His highest vote share came from Republican-leaning states.  

Neither Clinton nor Trump were rated terribly favorably, with just 30 percent of respondents reporting favorable feelings for Trump and 60 percent viewing him unfavorably. Clinton was viewed a little better overall, with 40 percent rating her favorably and 51 percent rating her unfavorably. Johnson was viewed slightly more unfavorably (15 percent) than favorably (9 percent), but the biggest proportion of respondents said they didn't know enough about him to form an opinion. 

"A vigorous third party campaign is a very real possibility this year, but it is not yet clear what the impact could be," said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, in a statement. "Including Johnson's name in our polling seems to be more of a placeholder for voters who are not particularly thrilled with either major party choice right now." 

The poll of 1,008 American adults was conducted March 17-20, 2016. 

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  1. The libertarian candidate not going to pull more than 1% of the popular vote. Get over it.

    1. Clearly what we need is Hillary Trumpton.

    2. Trump-Clinton-Johnson should get Johnson 5%. Gary Anderson got 6%.

    3. “The libertarian candidate not going to pull more than 1% of the popular vote. Get over it.”
      I’m not trying to pick the winning horse in a race, I’m voting for the man I think is the best one for the job.

      1. Wasn’t that the original idea behind voting? I’m with you.

      2. If you vote for who’s best for the job, that’s Gary Johnson.
        If you’re like most Americans and vote for the lesser of two (three) evils, that’s Gary Johnson.
        If you vote your convictions, that’s Gary Johnson.
        I can’t see how he can lose.

    4. But he has big hands.

      You can clearly see them in the picture.

      1. Hey, if they’re going to be comparing penis size at the GOP debate, I say go with the biggest Johnson in the running.

    5. He got .99% in 2012, i think he breaks 1% this year.


    “Including Johnson’s name in our polling seems to be more of a placeholder for voters who are not particularly thrilled with either major party choice right now.”


    1. I feel like the poll director is really just rubbing it in with that line.

      1. Really, ENB? You’re going to jump on the masturbation euphemism bandwagon as well?

        1. I’m ashamed it took me as long as it did. (To get the joke.)

      2. So you’re saying he’s rubbing his pole in your face?

    2. Yeah, but so will voters in November. They can’t say there’s no “other” option.

  3. Even if Johnson has little chance of winning, PLEASE let him be in the debates.

    1. You really want GayJay representing libertarian ideas in a debate? Pray the LP nominates anyone else.

      1. Not perfect; Penn Jillette might be better.

        Who would you have?

        1. Mike Rowe.

          1. I wouldn’t want Mike Rowe in the debates, but I would want him as the debate moderator. He really is like the voice of the common man.

          2. Hmm…at this point in time a guy like that could perchance pull double digits.

        2. Penn and Teller 2016. A no nonsense president and a vp who you know won’t say anything stupid.

          1. “Bullshit!”

          2. *President Jillette is giving his state of the union. Behind him VP Teller is playing with a small red ball. At one point in the speech he eats the red ball. President Jillette stops mid speech, confusedly pulls a red ball out of his ear, hands it back to the VP behind him and continues on.*

          3. Unfortunately, they are probably two of the least likely people to want the job.

            1. What if we convince them that they don’t have to actually do anything with the job once they get it?

              1. I’ve heard that outside of their professional relationship they really aren’t friends.

        3. Mary Ruwart

          1. Didn’t she lose the nomination to Michael Badnarik?

            1. Narrowly lost to Bob Barr in 2008 when her opponents spun some child porn views to make her look like she favored it.

          2. Better than GayJay, by far.

        4. “Who would you have?”
          I think SIV wants John Calvin.

      2. My first introduction to Gary Johnson was in the GOP debates. I loved what he was saying, but he had all the charisma and mannerisms of Ed Grimley and it didn’t work.


      3. Pray the LP nominates anyone else.

        What’s with you and the hate for Gary Johnson?

      4. Johnson doesn’t have to represent Libertarian ideas. He just has to sound sane, competent, and not a criminal to come out favorably compared to Trump-Clinton.

        1. lol!

          He fails on all 3

      5. Could Johnson possibly do a worse job representing libertarian ideas than Ron Paul did?

      6. Anyone else? So Bob Barr?

  4. Too bad no one has ever heard of him.

    If I bother to vote and don’t write in my own name, I’ll vote for him.

    1. John McAfee should be the LP nominee. Everyone has heard of him. Except maybe a few die hard Apple-fags.

      1. Everyone has heard of him.

        What a geek you are!

        1. John McAfee has zero chill.

        1. I guess GoodSpaceGuy will only get 2 votes this time around. I thought we could count on you for a third.

        2. Oh, fuck yeah!

          Needs fewer labels, though. I’d rather the makeup of the white powder be left to my imagination.

      2. Siv is right, no one ever had to remove GJ from their PC. I am now converted to McAfee on name recognition.

      3. They probably want to nominate someone who’s actually libertarian. Having experience doesn’t hurt either.

        1. Ah, but what “flavor” of Libertarian? From what I can see here, there are many. Michael Hin (or whatever his nameis)? Warty? John? Isn’t there even a progressive on here who claims he’s Libertarian?

          What does the purity test look like?

      4. No one would hear anything McAfee had to say with all that baggage he has.

    2. Johnson’s favorables were at 9 percent in the poll. 76 percent had never heard of him, and 15 percent didn’t like him.

      1. “I’m the 15%”

  5. Shittiest batch of major party candidates in 50+ years. Worse than even Bush-Kerry 2004.

    USA! USA!

      1. I don’t know what you are referring to.

        1. Obviously he’s implying that thinking of Shrillary’s flabby, pale white cankles no longer gets you hard.

          1. My favorite Triumph joke was when he asked Wasserman if the emails are Hillary’s Achilles cankle.

      2. You going soft on Hillary?

        Every man does.

    1. Hitler?

      1. You do not disappoint, Citizen X. 😎

  6. The Johnson votes were probably protest votes, like the original polls with Trump. Maybe it will work out for Johnson the same way…

    Or he could convert back to a Republican for the contest convention…

  7. Poll: 6 in 10 Republicans embarrassed by GOP race


    1. Lol, they totally should be.

    2. That actually seems to track with his level of support…

    3. It was the tipping point for me. I changed my voter registration from Republican to Libertarian this week.

      The Pennsylvania Primary is a month away, but I couldn’t stomach the idea of looking at that primary ballot.

    4. So you’re one of the 4 in 10 that’s not?

  8. #FeelTheJohnson

    1. Oh Jesus, I just about shit myself laughing in my cubicle. +1 stroke

    2. #ReadyForJohnson

    3. Yes. “On your leg and in your heart. #feelthejohnson”

    4. I want that on a bumper sticker.

    5. Johnson would leave a bad taste in some people’s mouths.

      1. Yeah… creeps who lost by 2% after the libertarian candidate got 3% of the vote will notice their own party platform is in real bad taste. The LP got in a lot of those licks in Texas in the mid-term elections. Those spoiler votes–like credit default swaps in the derivatives market–clearly indicate where stupid bets are being made. Change is not always painless for crochety, senile throwbacks to the Civil War era, but it is necessary to restore some freedom.

    6. #BeTheJohnson

  9. That sounds awesome. But I reckon 10 of that 11 percent would have voted for the third spot if it was labeled “Other,” “None,” or “Deez Nuts” too. I’ll believe it when I see people actually pull the lever.

    1. Whatever happened to Deez Nuts? I liked that guy.

    2. “None of the Above” could actually become a winning campaign slogan instead of a really terrible Richard Pryor bit.

      1. I’ve written it in a couple times.

  10. Johnson did wind up polling in the double-digits

    Here we go again…

    And yet I’ll always hold out hope, until the inevitable day the LP gets 0.75% of the vote again.

    1. Gary Johnson got 0.99% last time, against 2 nominees far less hated than Clinton-Trump.

  11. How many people thought “Gary Johnson” was another way of saying “John Doe”?

    1. I confused him with porn-star “Scary Johnson”

      1. Most people probably confused him with Silky Johnson.

    2. Who is Gary Johnson? better yet: Let’s party Libertarian!

  12. Libertarian Gary Johnson Could Pull Support From Both Clinton and Trump

    he’ll be having a far more significant impact on Vermin Supreme, Joy Waymire, and Deez Nuts.

  13. I applaud the alt text. Finally!

    1. “Hello. Is it me you’re looking for?” would have been more age appropriate for GayJay

  14. In an election year with a large disaffected mass from both major parties I would hope the Libertarian Party would do better. Nominate Johnson, a helluva good guy but a real uninspiring snoozefest of a candidate, and an opportunity will be missed.

    1. Assuming they would even let him in the debates, his lack of energy would really be what dooms him.

      He doesn’t have to come off like a firebrand or anything, just kick up the energy from a 2 to at least a 6.

      1. But I want a dull, plodding president. What the fuck is wrong with people? Why do they think politicians should be interesting or exciting?

        1. Blame television and Kennedy.

        2. +1 Silent Cal

    2. Have you seen the other LP contenders? A 2-term governor snooze fest is still better and more qualified than what the Dems and Reps are rolling out there.

      1. I agree with that but someone more charismatic would be preferable to me. When a candidate stands zero chance of winning, experience will be pretty far down the list of what potential voters consider important. Someone passionate about the message would be nice.

  15. Yeah, they’re going to miss that 0.5% of the vote.

  16. 11% of people polled have heard of Gary Johnson? I’m skeptical.

    1. 24 percent said they had heard of him. 9% had a favorable rating.

    2. There is a Gary Johnson in Austin who is an authentic libertarian from at least eight election seasons ago. He ran the “Live and Let Live” show, so some goodwill will rub off on the recycled republican. Sure would be nice if we could again have our own candidates, rather than republican libertarian impersonators and vice-versa. The NM politician was born really close to Canada. Maybe we can get The Don to question whether he meets the ‘natural born’ requirement, get some publicity that way.

      1. Joining Shriek in a Dead Thread Fuckfest, Hank?

  17. 11 percent? That’s an order of magnitude jump from 2012. Once Johnson crosses into the realm where independent voters view him as having a real chance, that could jump to 25 or 30 percent. And from there, voters considering either Trump or Clinton might think again about who is the best qualified, most sane, and least criminal candidate.

    1. Gary already helped change a lot of pot laws just by running–and with considerable help from asset forfeiture confiscation of subprime grow houses and the resulting economic collapse. It was states that got sucked into backing prohibition for a share of the loot. Since that turned into a $15 trillion loss, repeal started looking good.

    2. especially since there is another 12% in the “no one” and “undecided” camp. if you can turn the “screw it, i won’t vote”s into “screw it, I’m voting for the third party”s then the wasted vote mentality starts to really break down.

  18. Johnson, meanwhile, was the top choice for 11 percent of those polled.

    Until they vote. Then it would be more like 1.1% (note the decimal).

  19. The biggest victory for Gay Jo would be to get in a couple of the Clinton – Trump debates. That would be huge and should be the main focus of the LP.

    1. He just needs to get to 15% in the polls, right? He’s at 11% already.

    2. He sucks at public speaking and looks like a muppet (which is part of why he fared so poorly in the primaries back in the day), but nearly the entire world cringes when they even see Hillary or Trump’s face, not to mention hear them speak, so I think it wouldn’t really matter in this general election.

      1. “nearly the entire world cringes when they even see Hillary or Trump’s face, not to mention hear them speak”

        Oh, so I guess that’s why those two are doing so poorly in the primaries so far….

      2. i just want to see him have the opportunity to say “trump’s a pussy” with trump on the stage.

  20. The pessimism here is part of why he’ll never get higher than 1% of the vote. I never had any hope for him in the last election. I had no illusions of grandeur. This election, however, I do not know a single person that doesn’t work for the actual Republican or Democrat Parties that doesn’t hate both Trump and Hillary. I have the entire range of friends from super conservative to super liberal. Nobody likes them.

    1. Voters need to understand that partisan spoiler votes (not personality hucksters) are what changes the laws. The commies lost every election, yet their income tax law got in as an amendment. Prohibition fanatics lost nearly all elections, but made beer a felony with agents out shooting unarmed civilians for 13 years. To vote your conscience honestly is ethical and practical. Letting others panic you with hobgoblins is cowardice that robs your vote of what value it could have had–ten times as much law-changing and tax-cutting power.

      1. it is better for the person you hate most to go in with the knowledge they are on a thin margin, than have the person you hate slightly less go in with the feeling they won a mandate.

  21. Feel the Johnson!

    1. We have reached peak euphemism.

    2. Hrm… I would like to have gay sex with my husband.

      But I do expect to vote for Johnson in November.

  22. I’ve been leaning toward not voting this year, for the first time since I voted for Ed Clark in 1980. However, if — IF! — I become convinced that Gary Johnson (or any Libertarian) will get enough votes to theoretically swing the election from the R’s to the D’s, I am considering voting, one more time.

  23. Looking at the poll data, specifically question 6 (comparing Trump to Clinton) and question 9 (comparing Trump to Clinton to Johnston), it looks like most of Johnson’s support comes from Republicans and Independents with Democrats not changing as much.

    (Question 6) 73% Trump, 12% Clinton, 15% other/no one/undecided
    (Question 9) 70% Trump, 6% Clinton, 13% Johnson, 10% other/no one/undecided

    (Question 6) 5% Trump, 89% Clinton, 6% Other
    (Question 9) 3% Trump, 88% Clinton, 4% Johnson, 5% Other

    (Question 6) 40% Trump, 39% Clinton, 21% Other
    (Question 9) 34% Trump, 28% Clinton, 16% Johnson, 22 % other

    So it looks like Democrats are more committed to Clinton then Republicans to Trump, with most of Johnson’s support coming from uncommitted Republicans, Clinton-voting Republicans, and Independents.

    Which sounds about right. There’s a lot more upset coming from Republicans right now then Democrats, so they’re much more likely to talk about jumping ship. If this Republican unrest continues, then Johnson’s shot at breaking double-digits improves. If Republicans (including the base, not just the politicians) coalesce around Trump, however, and he gains solid support of the party, then I’d expect Johnson’s odds dropping.

  24. I will vote for him again

    1. I will vote for our LP platform again. Has anyone else actually read the GOP and Dem platforms? The Republican platform is a textbook example of hate speech if ever there was such a thing–that and waffling.

  25. Sometimes dude you jsut have to roll with it.


  26. Libertarian Gary Johnson Could Pull Support From Both Clinton and Trump

    He could, but he won’t. The awfulness of the major party candidates will weirdly make people even more blindly partisan. The Libertarian Party candidate will do better than ever before in pre-election polling, but will once again fail to get even 1% of the actual vote.

    1. Johnson got 0.99% of the vote in an election where the two nominees were nowhere near as unpopular as the ones this year will be. While he’s not going to win, and I’d be pretty shocked if he got even 5% of the vote, I think he’ll break 1%. Not gonna matter much, but I’d be surprised if he didn’t.

    2. How about this: a little girl pulling petals off a daisy… Cut to Bush sending troops into Sharia states, splice in blonde Aryan madman/madwoman pushing “The Button” and segue from flash/mushroom cloud to Johnson’s message of love, minding own business and no entangling alliances.

  27. I heard Hilary might choose Cory Booker for VP. If true I’d have to consider that ticket. Otherwise, Johnson as usual.

  28. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.

    Electing Republicans and Democrats over and over again is insanity (unless you like the status quo).

  29. Gary Johnson in a debate with the crazed harpy Clinton would show people that she is Dick Cheney in a pants suit and them some.

    A full on retard evil statist who supports the War on Womyn who Smoke Weed.

    She is full on pro-war on everything.

    1. I agree, look at the Libya debacle.

  30. The Real Science blog ran an old news item showing Dukakis was about to cream Bush. (He didn’t). Bookie odds in England were at the time laying heavy odds the opposite way. Actuarial science is a better indicator than advertising flacks’ hoopla. If we could bet on elections in These States it would be a big step toward reducing vote fraud.

  31. Gary’s Johnson 2016!

  32. ‘Was running for president but then I got high
    Promoting our liberties but I got high
    Now I’m just a dope and I know why
    ‘Cause I got high
    Because I got high
    Because I got high’

    1. Ah, the prohibitionist infiltrators are out in force, flushed with the Klan’s recent success against Whiskey Al Smith, the liberal (meaning pro-repeal) Democrat

  33. Who is his VP? A third party could have a shot this year, but Gary Johnson is not exactly Mr. Charisma. Are they going to have a serious run? Or just do the usual libertarian principled self-exile to the fringe?

  34. Interesting election.

    The likely Democratic nominee is someone who is running under the cloud of possible felony indictment whose major campaign theme is that she has a vagina and people liked her husband.

    The likely Republican nominee is a reality television show host whose major campaign plank is that we need to build a big wall to keep the Mexicans out.

    The likely Libertarian nominee is a popular former two-term governor running on a platform of fiscal responsibility, foreign policy restraint and broad social tolerance.

    This election, the Libertarians are the grown-ups in the room. Isn’t that one of the seven signs of the Apocalypse?

    1. Close, but no cigar. The exact technical term is APORKALYPSE: the End Times that would follow election of a libertarian.

  35. Sure this would be nice if we could again have our own candidates, rather than republican libertarian impersonators and vice-versa.

  36. It’s early yet, but for a press that basically refuses or hasn’t covered the LP, 11% at this time seems impressive for someone that most people don’t even know or a party that most people know nothing about

  37. If no better candidate emerges, we could at least revive the “Daisy commercial”

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  41. RE: Libertarian Gary Johnson Could Pull Support From Both Clinton and Trump

    Johnson could get some support from the repubs, providing the repubs go back to the concept of a free market. But they won’t. The repubs like regulating the markets and have made profits from these suffocating rules and regulations as have the dems.

    The dems won’t like the libertarian stand on economics and have sold their soul when it came to destroying our civil rights and liberties via the Patriot Act, etc.

    The only sane people left are libertarians such as ourselves.

    Fuck socialism.

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