OpinionTrending Commentary

Is Gary Johnson the New Ross Perot?

The Former Governor of New Mexico and current Libertarian Party candidate for president Gary Johnson isn’t likely going to become the next president, but that doesn’t mean he won’t have an effect on the outcome of the election come November.

Johnson briefly participated in the Republican primaries and debates before switching over to the Libertarian ticket, and per Fox News, Johnson is polling about 5% nationwide, which isn’t particularly bad for a third party candidate. Despite his low numbers, Johnson isbeginning to show a little pull in a few battleground states out west which includes New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and Colorado.

Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson

According to the same poll, he is polling at about 9% in Arizona and 13% in New Mexico – it’s not enough to win, but it could certainly be enough to hand out a disadvantage to the major party candidate that he is taking votes away from.

Earlier in the week, the Libertarian Party had this to say about Gary Johnson, “Libertarian Presidential Candidate Gov. Gary Johnson Could Deprive Mitt Romney of 5 battleground states, 74 Electoral Votes, 27% of the Electoral Votes needed to win in 2012.”

No one can be certain on what kind of effect Gary Johnson will have on the outcome in November, if any, but he wouldn’t be the first ‘monkey to throw a wrench in the machine’.

Twenty years ago in the 1992 presidential election, third party candidate Ross Perot collected an astounding 19% of the popular vote. Some have come to think that Perot’s influence aided Bill Clinton into the White House with just 43% of the popular vote, and disadvantaged incumbent George H. W. Bush.

However, Ross Perot had a large amount national support, something of which Johnson is currently lacking. But with the race between former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and President Obama being so tight and within the margin of error, Johnson’s influence could likely turn a state red or blue.

To add, some think that Johnson might not just hurt one side of the aisle, but both. While most think that Johnson will pull votes away from Romney, the Liberal PPP (Public Polling Policy) believes that Johnson could hurt Obama in Colorado.

“He’s going to be a problem for somebody, somewhere,” writes political strategist and Fox News contributor Joe Trippi. “We don’t yet know which candidate he might harm the most … both campaigns should be looking over their shoulders at that guy almost nobody is talking about.”

All of the numbers and opinions aside, Gary Johnson is a legitimate candidate for presidency, and shouldn’t just be thought of as a ‘vote stealer’. Johnson is the third party alternate in an election where the two major candidates are thought to have a lot of similarities. Johnson stands for a lot of what the other two candidates won’t stand for, simply because of political ramifications.


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Chris Enloe

I am a 16 year old Conservative based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. I am currently a senior at North Davidson Senior High School. You can follow me on Twitter @chrisenloe.

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  1. No, Gary Johnson is not the new Ross Perot, by virtue of the fact that people actually knew who Ross Perot was. The Libertarians need to forget about their idealist fantasy nonsense and concentrate on, along with conservatives, ousting that failed experiment in the White House that is destroying America. If we don’t get Obama out now, the Libertarians (or the Republicans) may never get another chance to win an election.

  2. ross perot was put in to do one thing, take votes from george bush and secure the election for clinton. people,wake up,gary johnson has been appointed to attemp the same thing for obama.He has no chance to win and as perot,He knows it!

  3. I respect and appreciate coverage of news on this site, and as it’s a conservative site, I shouldn’t be surprised to see commentary slanted that way, but it’s just absurd to state in writing that Ross Perot was put in to take votes from Bush — did you even participate in that election? It’s similarly absurd to think that the Obama administration would use Gary Johnson for that purpose. I do concede, that because he was a millionaire, more people new about Perot than Johnson, but Libertarian viewpoint is based on the constitution and fiscal responsibility, not idealistic fantasy. Look a little deeper – you may find principles that really appeal to people who are conservative about things that matter (e.g. the economy) and let individual and free market regulate the rest.

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