As mentioned in the A.M. Links, a new USA Today/Suffolk poll has Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson pulling 8 percent support nationally, in third place behind Hillary Clinton (39 percent) and Donald Trump (35 percent), with presumptive Green Party nominee Jill Stein bringing up the rear with 3 percent. This is pretty familiar territory for Johnson and the rest of the field; a June 24-29 IBD/TIPP poll had the percentages 37-36-9-5, a June 21-27 Quinnipiac had 'em at 39-37-8-4, and so on.
Meanwhile, the candidate keeps earning free media. Here he is Friday on Real Time with Bill Maher, in which the host closes with "I really hope you get into the debates":
How does this compare with four years ago? Here's a Brian Doherty blog post from July 6, 2012:
a poll released today from Gallup that specifically asks about third party candidates Gary Johnson (Libertarian), Jill Stein (Green), and Virgil Goode (Constitution) finds support topping off for any specific such candidate at 3 percent, for Johnson. Stein got 1 percent and Goode less than half a percent.
There was one other national poll showing that month, at 5 percent, but these were the exceptions rather than the rule. Talk back then of getting Johnson into the presidential debates was almost purely theoretical, because he just wasn't being polled.
As for media, instead of getting the full CNN town hall treatment, Gary Johnson in July 2012 was…organizing protests over lack of coverage outside the headquarters of CNN. As the Libertarian told me just hours before last month's town hall appearance,
Four years ago in June we'd be making about fifteen calls a week to end up with maybe on average one national media appearance of some sort a week….As opposed to [now] having twenty national media requests a day.