"I hope I'm a spoiler for both of them," Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson told the Boston Herald. Referring to the tight race in New Hampshire, where a 1 percent or 2 percent drain from either party could upset the race, Johnson is aware of his impact on the nation.
Where are the tied races in the 2012 presidential election?
Real Clear Politics polling data shows that in some states, President Barack Obama or former Gov. Mitt Romney only have a small 1 percent or 2 percent lead. In New Hampshire, Romney has a 2 percent lead, while in Florida he is only one percentage point ahead of Obama. In Ohio, both candidates come in with 48 percent. Nevada sees Obama ahead by 2 percent. Iowa proves to be a tied race as well.
How can Johnson be considered a kingmaker?
CNN polling data from September showed that Johnson ranked favorably with registered voters. About 4 percent would consider voting for him. Of likely voters, about 3 percent would vote for him. His main source of support comes from the 35 to 49 age demographic, which is also the voting bloc that greatly favors President Obama. Romney's main support comes from voters older than 65 years of age. Even if Johnson will not garner enough votes to have a chance of becoming president, there is a mathematical likelihood that he will draw support away from the incumbent president but also the Republican challenger. "Gary Johnson doesn't have to get a lot of votes to have a huge impact in the swing states, and New Hampshire is one of them," John Zogby told the Herald.
Which party will likely suffer the most if swing-state voters cast ballots for Johnson?
Citing lukewarm conservative voters, Newsday notes that votes for Johnson will drain support away from Romney. Although his social viewpoints make him an attractive candidate for disenchanted Democratic voters as well, the crossover may not be as considerable as it could become for the Republicans.
Does Johnson believe he can win the White House?
"I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't think I could do a really good job as president of the United States," Johnson told the Washington Post. Even so, the Libertarian Party acknowledges that winning the White House in 2012 is unlikely. The OC Weekly highlights that Johnson's running mate, Jim Gray, is already discussing a 2016 run for the presidency. Gray is urging voters in non-battleground states such as California to not support Romney but Johnson, which could help the Libertarian candidates operate from a position of fiscal strength come 2016.