Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson Running a Distant Third in New Poll

The New Mexico Senate race is 47%-26%-16% Democrat-Republican-Libertarian, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

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Ruh-roh. ||| Albuquerque Journal
Albuquerque Journal

In a significant mood-dampener for the Libertarian Party, two-time Libertarian presidential nominee and two-term Republican governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson finished a distant third place in an Albuquerque Journal poll that came out this weekend. The September 7–13 survey of 966 likely voters, carried out by Research & Polling Inc. (which FiveThirtyEight gives a pollster rating of "A"), found Democratic incumbent Sen. Martin Heidrich with 47 percent support, compared to 26 percent for novice GOP candidate Mick Rich and just 16 percent for Libertarian standard-bearer Johnson.

The news comes as a rude reversal of an Emerson College poll last month, which had Johnson in second place with 21 percent, not only far ahead of Rich's 11 percent (and closer to Heinrich's 39) but receiving more support than the GOP nominee from Republican voters. In the newer poll, Rich trounces Johnson among Republicans, 62 percent to 18 percent. (Emerson, which has a FiveThirtyEight rating of B+, surveyed 500 registered voters. It had a margin of error of 4.6 percent, compared to the Journal's 3.1 percent.)

Averaging the two polls—the only independent surveys taken since Johnson formally entered the race—leaves the Libertarian and Republican tied at 18.5 percent, well behind Heinrich's 43. Fold in four additional polls paid for by the involved parties, and you get a Dem/GOP/L.P. percentage split of 44 to 26 to 20. There's a reason why none of the election forecasters have budged from their predictions that New Mexico remains a safe Democratic seat.

Heinrich's lead would certainly be less comfortable had Rich dropped out, but that ship sailed in late August. "Obviously if he was not in this race, this race would be significantly different," Johnson's longtime political strategist Ron Nielson told me a month ago.

Johnson received 9.3 percent and 3.6 percent of the presidential vote in New Mexico in 2016 and 2012, respectively. He won the governorship by 10 percentage points (with 49.8 percent of the vote) in 1994, and nine points (54.5 percent) in 1998. As of the end of August, 45.9 percent of registered New Mexico voters are Democrats, 30.4 percent are Republicans, 21.9 percent don't belong to a political party, and just 0.7 percent are Libertarian.

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  1. Why is it that Johnson was more libertarian back when he was a Republican?

    1. Same goes for Bill Weld, sort of.

    1. Yeah, some of us were realists and Johnson’s running didn’t significantly illuminate our mood to begin with.

      1. My mood lit right up when Gary dropped his 2012 promise to help the Gee Oh Pee lynch Planned Parenthood physicians. His vote count more than tripled too. I sure miss that straight-ticket LIB option on the ballot.

  2. Even the cosmo god has his shortcomings

    1. The Cosmo God that Failed

      1. The Cosmo God is not Great:
        How Woketarians Poison Everything

  3. The poll is not a ‘reversal’. It is a different sampling method. Libertarians can NEVER do well in polls that sample ‘likely voters’ because the sampling there is of a)voters who voted recently and b)are inclined to vote this time as well. Since L’s didn’t do well in the past, this method of sampling will understate their potential.

    L’s can NEVER appeal to frequent past voters. They are virtually all DeRps – and they will be DeRps forever. They have bought into all the DeRp bullshit – the DeRp agenda – the DeRp demonizing – the DeRp lesser of two evils. Fuck them all. Forget them.

    L’s have to focus entirely – 100% – on the independents and the L’s and non-voters and unregistered. Motivate them to choose you – and then ask them to vote for you. Much more difficult sales pitch but it’s the only one that can work.

    1. No offense, but that sounds like an awful strategy. It doesn’t even seem plausible. Gary got all those votes in 2016 only because Republicans who didn’t like Trump weren’t going to vote for him and independents who were disgusted with both candidates chose him.

      I highly doubt that you can win any race by appealing to infrequent independent voters. I doubt any of those people would ever vote even if the greatest candidate ever was running.

      1. Obviously you wouldn’t be able to succeed at that. Hopefully Gary Johnson understands both a)sales and b)NM voters better than you do

        1. Maybe. Or maybe Johnson could work on narrowing down what he actually believes in. His whole I support forced inoculation and then I don’t support forced inoculation; I support a carbon tax and then I don’t support a carbon tax; I support a burka ban and then I don’t support a burka ban, etc. was really annoying and probably made people suspicious that he wouldn’t stand for anything other than what was a politically popular thing to say at the time.

          Johnson is better than his two opponents for that seat, but he’s still a pretty piss poor candidate. Maybe that’s the problem rather than unfair polling methods?

          1. He’s piss poor from a policy (and brains) standpoint, I guess. But as the most successful candidate in libertarian party history, he’s not that bad at getting votes.

        2. Just to show you how easy (took me 10 mins online with no special access to data) it is to target areas where the DeRps are vulnerable to undecideds:

          Bernalillo, Cibola, Curry, Dona Ana, Eddy, Lea, Lincoln, McKinley, Roosevelt, San Juan, Sandoval, and Valencia are all counties where the primary turnout (all DeRp) this year was lower than the state average. Those also all happen to be pretty big counties. Focus rallies/speeches/media attention there and GJ can win

      2. To people who read the platforms, Gary et alii got votes because the Dems promised to ban electric power plants and the GOP promised to bring back Prohibition and coathanger abortions by Constitutional amendment.

        1. Sure. In fantasy land people voted for Gary, because of the LP’s platform. A platform that he completely ignored

      3. Gary got all those votes in 2016 only because Republicans who didn’t like Trump weren’t going to vote for him and independents who were disgusted with both candidates chose him.

        You’re forgetting that a record number of democrats voted for him. Granted, Hillary was a shitty candidate even by dem standards, but he attracted a significant number of young democrat voters.

    2. Just to demonstrate that these two polls are apples and oranges:

      The Emerson College poll (of registered voters) –

      39% D – 11% R – 21% L – 29% undecided

      The Alb Journal poll (of likely voters)

      47% D – 26% R – 16% L – 11% undecided

      Likely voters are ALWAYS less ‘undecided’. They will tend to vote in future the way they voted in the past. So a sample that undersamples the undecided is going to oversample the bipolar choices that that group has made in the past and will in future too. The worst thing a third party candidate can do is to take that result seriously – and stop trying. Keep your eye on the prize – the UNDECIDED voters. They are also the ones who will really flock to the candidate who keeps giving them a POSITIVE reason to vote for them – because the DeRps will eventually have to revert to negative in order to motivate their own base.

      1. Does it really matter how many girls you *almost* had sex with?

        1. Are we talking in the #MeToo sense, or reality?

      2. According to the Albuquerque Journal poll, “Likely Voter” is defined as someone who voted in both the 2014 and 2016 general elections and says that they are “likely to vote” this year. That’s a pretty high standard and is likely to have introduced a fairly large sampling error.

        On the other hand, the Emerson poll ignored cell-phones, which introduces its own sampling error.

        On the whole, I think it unlikely that either poll really got it right.

        1. Polls are better used to set a campaigning agenda than to judge temperatures. Esp for third parties and local/state races.

          What i get from those two polls is that GJ has to:

          a)explicitly ‘ask for the sale’ in every speech and media interview. Undecideds are his opportunity and they have to be closed

          b)as fast as he can, get the D/R’s to go negative. That’s how they get the pretentious ‘lesser of evils’ crowd riled and eager as hell to vote for the lesser evil. Chances are they have no clue how to actually go negative in a three-party race without it backfiring. And to win, GJ is going to have to force a bit of backfiring. He may need some time to make that happen.

    3. I like the angle and the strategy.

  4. It was never likely that he would stay competitive in such a polarized environment. Anyone supporting him who was not a true ideological libertarian was always likely to drift back towards whichever camp they fall closest to, and it appears that’s what is happening.
    I feel this is one of the biggest issues for the LP; how do you stop being the default “neither” option in polling far out from the election that fades as the actual voting draws near people reluctantly fall back into line with their less loathed of the two major parties? How does the LP get taken seriously enough to actually draw winning or competitve support from people in the populace who may sympathize without winning to prove to the skeptics that isn’t a wasted vote? And how can you prove it isn’t a wasted vote and start to change the duopoly without wins in your repertoire of arguments? It seems a real Catch-22, and I’m not sure how they can ever break out of it.

    1. You are spot on. It also hurts somewhat that libertarians are often more independent individualists who may be less likely to organize or even vote. You bring up a lot of good questions. I believe one of the keys will be election reform. Ranked choice voting will help tremendously. Positive changes are happening. The DeRp(s) are dying and the cat’s out of the bag.

    2. You are spot on. It also hurts somewhat that libertarians are often more independent individualists who may be less likely to organize or even vote. You bring up a lot of good questions. I believe one of the keys will be election reform. Ranked choice voting will help tremendously. Positive changes are happening. The DeRp(s) are dying and the cat’s out of the bag.

  5. Spoiler, as I suspected.

    1. Yes, the Republican is a spoiler in this race

  6. Don’t you hate it when your Johnson polls badly?

    1. If only they had a libido drug named Aleppo.

      1. Or if they keep polling on Johnson until the numbers go up.

        1. ^Winner

  7. If there is one thing you can count on GayJay to do, it is to CHOKE.

  8. Someone explain to me again how evil it was when the straight-ticket LIB option was there on the ballot to use or ignore and Gary (doubtless by coincidence, not causality) was a favorite over Baldy the Prohibitionist?

  9. This article is gay. GAY. The picture exemplifies the attractive countenances of these men. So I have a better idea: you must exclusively assign these three hunks with one of these statuses: marry, fuck, and kill.
    I’ll start.
    Marry: GayJay
    Fuck: Marty
    Kill: Mick

  10. Trying to get Gary Flaccid Johnson into office is like trying to push a string through a keyhole.
    Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.

    1. That’s actually pretty funny, but believe it or not, he was twice elected as Governor of New Mexico.

  11. The libertarians don’t get votes, because they do almost nothing to energize or excite voters. At the height of wars and bailout, Ron Paul’s brand of defiant anti authoritarianism had some appeal for some younger republicans. Beyond that, the LP has made no noise.

    Reason had a huge problem with right wing “mob” taking Sarah Jeong to task, even though most serous conservatives did no urge dismissal. Libertarians are so anti PC that they believe in cyrpto currency and abolishing minimum wage. If you do things like that which deflate your own base, you won’t win.

    If the LP nominated someone like Jordan Peterson I might vote for him. In CA you have nothing to lose. You might call him a “LINO” because he’s not open borders or something, but I get the feeling that most libertarians are not anarchists.

    1. Peterson’s Canadian. We don’t want a birthers raucous.

    2. Libertarians are so anti PC that they believe in cyrpto currency

      Well, yes, crypto currencies exist, and if you don’t believe that, there’s something seriously wrong with you.

      and abolishing minimum wage

      Heaven forbid anybody should want to abolish a racist policy that is nearly universally considered harmful to low-income people!

    3. “If the LP nominated someone like Jordan Peterson I might vote for him.”

      Uh, what?

    4. An-Caps wouldn’t be per se, they would be against government doing anything or controlling anything. The property owner would have full authority to close the borders of their property.

    5. Libertarians are so anti PC that they believe in cyrpto currency and abolishing minimum wage.

      The problem isn’t that they believe in it. It’s that they talk about it. Libertarians are notorious for talking about issues that nobody gives a shit about.

      Libertarians need to talk about:

      health care
      trannies and gays
      respect for women
      black people getting shot by cops
      weed
      north korea

      Nobody cares about gay wedding cakes and cryptocurrency. Only us nerds.

      1. Noo-o-o-o-oo-o!!

        Libertarians need to talk about what the most successful libertarian (in attracting new young blood into the party) in the past 100 years spoke about: foreign wars STOP IT! and the Fed STOP IT!

        Yes, I’m talking about Ron Paul.

    6. > most libertarians are not anarchists.

      All the cool ones are.

  12. Johnson shrinks from opening.

    Johnson limp in poll.

  13. When that first poll came out, I predicted he’ll finish with 7%. I stand by that. The decline has already begun.

  14. Looks like the prettiest fella of the 3 is going to win.

  15. Open borders libertarianism is a suicide pact. The most significant thing about the polling is how uncontrolled immigration has turned a red state into a blue state and taken it farther from libertarianism than ever.

    1. You’re making up what “libertarianism” is as you go along.

  16. Perhaps he should shoot lower if he needs power so much.

  17. Can Gary find NM on a map?

  18. If he were serious about winning then he would have run in the republican primary. This was just attention seeking with little skin in the game.

    1. He came in after the primary. In fact, the earlier LP nominee bowed out in so that Gary could have a clear shot.

  19. That’s OK. He’s just there to keep the GOPe pick, the dimorat, in office. Can’t be voting for no REAL REPUBLICAN.

  20. Sure, they will tend to vote in future the way they voted in the past. Lol

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