History says Johnson Supporters will give Trump the Win
By Mark Wachtler
In 2012, 90% of voters who polled for Libertarian Gary Johnson didn’t vote for him. They broke two-to-one in favor of the Republican. Image courtesy of WSJ.com.
September 16, 2016. (ONN) If the election phenomenon known as third party remorse repeats itself, as it always does, Libertarian voters will give Donald Trump a General Election victory. Independent and third party voters consider Democrats and Republicans evil. But Libertarians like Gary Johnson and Greens like Jill Stein never have an honest chance. So voters vote for the lesser of two evils instead. We compared 2012 polls to the final vote totals and applied it to 2016. See the results below.
It’s easy to compare the 2012 General Election to the 2016 General Election, mostly because Gary Johnson is again the Libertarian nominee and Jill Stein is again the Green Party nominee. The biggest difference is that in 2012, the Democrat – Barack Obama – benefitted by the impression he was the independent-leaning outsider while Republican billionaire Mitt Romney was the establishment insider. This time around, it’s reversed. Republican Donald Trump is the independent-leaning outsider while Democrat Hillary Clinton is the establishment insider.
The phenomenon I’ve dubbed ‘third party remorse’ is illustrated by the 2012 Presidential election. Libertarian Gary Johnson was polling 7 percent in pre-election polls. That represents 8.5 million voters. But when the vote totals were tallied up, Johnson received only 1 percent. Who did his other 7.3 million supporters vote for instead?
The rule of thumb is that Libertarians always vote Republican and Greens always vote Democrat. Comparing the below 2012 poll-vs-final vote numbers, we see that Gary Johnson’s supporters broke two-to-one in favor of Republican Mitt Romney.
Candidate – polls – final vote (from Wikipedia)
Barack Obama – 46 – 51
Mitt Romney – 39 – 47
Gary Johnson – 7 – 1
Now look at 2016’s latest Presidential polls. The CBS News/NY Times poll released yesterday that included Gary Johnson showed the following numbers:
2016 Presidential Poll (from Real Clear Politics)
Hillary Clinton – 42
Donald Trump – 42
Gary Johnson – 8
When the General Election votes are tallied, it’s expected that Libertarian Gary Johnson will repeat his 2012 performance and only receive 1-2 percent. Who will the remaining 6-7 percent vote for? Take a look at another poll released yesterday by the LA Times/USC that does not include Gary Johnson to see where his voters might go.
Donald Trump – 47
Hillary Clinton – 41
If Libertarians stay true to their political beliefs and vote for Gary Johnson, it would be the first time in modern history. If 2012 repeats itself and Gary Johnson supporters opt to vote for the lesser of two evils again, they will break more than two-to-one for the Republican, Donald Trump. The GOP nominee may receive an even larger majority of the third party vote since he is widely perceived as a fellow anti-establishment outsider.
This November, if Election eve polls show a virtual tie or a slight lead for Hillary Clinton, but Election night totals give Trump the victory, he can probably thank America’s independent and Libertarian voters.
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