Gary Johnson Could Play Spoiler in 2016

Gary Johnson 01Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson could have a big impact in the 2016 election as polling shows he pulls support away from both Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton.

A new polling analysis from Huffington Post shows Clinton with a slight lead over Donald Trump. When Gary Johnson is included in the mix, that lead disappears.

Clinton loses over 4 percentage points to Johnson, going from 43.9 percent in questions without any explicit mention of him to 39.6 percent with the Libertarian in the picture. Trump drops more than 3 points, from 42.6 percent to 39.2 percent, when Johnson is a named option in the poll.


If it seems counterintuitive that a Libertarian candidate would pull more from Clinton than from Trump, keep in mind that we’re in the middle of the conventions. Johnson was taking more from Trump than Clinton a few days ago. 

Johnson could potentially have a spoiler role in Utah. A June survey gave Johnson 10% in a four-way matchup. Donald Trump had 36% and Hillary Clinton was at 27%. Green Party nominee Jill Stein was at just 2%.

An internal poll from Mia Love’s campaign show Johnson is nearly tied with Clinton and Trump in Utah’s 4th Congressional District. Trump had 29% in that poll, Clinton was at 27% and Johnson got 26%.