According to a Gravis Marketing Ohio poll, Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson is running with 10.6% in the Buckeye State. With Barack Obama running with 44.5% and Mitt Romney running with 37.8%, it essentially takes Romney out of the race there; particularly considering that without Johnson included 44.3% are for Romney/Ryan compared to 45.2% for Obama/Biden.
Johnson has been gaining support in recent weeks and it’s no wonder considering Romney’s 44.4% un-favorability rating. While chances of Johnson winning remain rather dim, his late election bloom could be a boon for him and his party.
As the election gets close to its final days, it seems that for every piece of ground Romney loses Johnson gains. Romney, who’s been his own worst enemy recently, is now battling what seems to be the kind of “anti-Romney” candidate that he feels he should have done away with during the primary: a loose talking, socially liberal, free market governor from New Mexico.
As the race progresses, and the undecided become decided, Romney’s camp is faring worse and worse. It seems that all the people that are starting to decide are deciding for Johnson or Obama. Just as Romney is starting to starkly trail in the polls, a Johnson gain is like a nail in the coffin.
Libertarians, however, should be rejoicing. If a Republican contender gets trounced in the general election blame will inevitably be dished out. While some of it inevitably will be laid on Romney and his campaign staff, it is only a matter of time before blame goes to Johnson; especially, if he continues to have such a disproportionate effect on swing states.
But the blame on Johnson will end up shifting to an analysis of his policies and what attracted voters to him. In the free market of ideas, Republicans will probably end up wanting to borrow a few from the Libertarian Party.