You're probably going to be hearing a lot about our friend Gary Johnson and his decision to abandon the GOP for the Libertarian Party over the next couple of days, or at least until everyone goes back to forgetting that Gary Johnson and the Libertarian Party are things that exist.
But what you probably won't hear about that much is that according to a new survey from Public Policy Polling, a Libertarian Johnson will likely pull in less than 10 percent in a general election (which, to be fair, would actually pretty amazing for Gary Johnson and the Libertarian Party).
However — while no third party candidate has any genuine chance of winning anything other than a free ride for Barack Obama — there are some data points worth noting…
The strongest potential independent candidate we tested is Donald Trump who gets 19% in a three way contest with Obama at 45% and Romney at 31%. The folks who say they would support Trump go for Romney 71-10 in a straight up head to head with Obama. Donald Trump's ego could potentially prove to be Obama's greatest asset for reelection in 2012.
The independent candidate who gets the next largest amount of support is Ron Paul at 17%. Obama would get 42% and Romney 37% in that match up. Folks who would vote for Paul third party go for Romney by a 55-17 margin over Obama in their head to head, making them at least a slightly more politically diverse group than the Trump voters. Paul would achieve a near three way tie with independent voters, getting 27% to Obama's 32% and Romney's 31%.
The only other potential independent we tested who registers in double digits is Jon Huntsman at 11%. Obama gets 43% and Romney 37% in that three way contest. Although Huntsman has built up a reputation as the Republican Democrats love and is getting a huge chunk of his support in New Hampshire from Obama voters, he would still draw disproportionately from Romney in a three way contest. His voters go 63-15 for Romney over Obama in a head to head.
Personally, I'm still holding out for a Hugo Chávez candidacy. I know! It's totally unconstitutional, and there's absolutely no chance that it could ever happen in a million billion years. But it's in the realm of conceivable scenarios.
Unlike Gary Johnson and the Libertarian Party winning the White House.
Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Tags: Donald Trump, Gary Johnson, Jon Huntsman, Libertarian, Ron Paul, Third Party
* You know, Ron Paul actually has a point. On a quantum level, the entire universe is unconstitutional.
* If Ron Paul maybe decides to do something he's possibly considering, it could potentially have undetermined consequences, hypothetically speaking.
* Jon Huntsman is absolutely adamant about not attending that Donald Trump debate that Donald Trump's not doing.
* President Obama is looking slightly less and less disliked every day!
Tags: Barack Obama, Constitution, Debates, Donald Trump, Jon Huntsman, Polls, Pork Barrel, Ron Paul, Third Party
There is currently just-next-to-zero speculation that Jon Huntsman will be running for president as the Republican nominee.
So, in comparison to that, there's actually quite a bit of speculation that Jon Huntsman will be running as a third-party candidate. And just as much excitement (comparatively speaking)…
After vowing to run as a Republican or nothing at all, Huntsman gave himself a little wiggle room this week to be the nominee of Americans Elect, a well-funded nonprofit group well on its way to getting on the presidential ballot in all 50 states.
The lagging GOP contender told The Daily he is "not even considering" an Americans Elect run, though he quickly added the qualifier "when I'm running as a Republican."
Only two weeks ago, Huntsman told Fox News Sunday that he absolutely would not run as an independent and would support his party’s nominee.
Ooooooohhhh… I get it. He won't run as a third-party candidate "when [he's] running as a Republican." That's like saying, "I didn't sleep with your sister." Very slick.
Let's, for the sake of speculating about speculations, say that Huntsman is interested as running on the Americans Elect ticket. How exactly would that work?
Americans Elect is creating an online presidential nominating process similar to the system used to select "American Idol" winners…
Internet users will vote on the candidates, who will be chosen in successive rounds starting in April and ending no later than June. Users also will be able to suggest candidates and debate platforms.
Aha. So, Jon Huntsman would actually have to win something to run for president as the Americans Elect nominee. I see…
So, why are we even talking about this?
Photo by Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call Group/Getty Images
Tags: Americans Elect, Jon Huntsman, Primaries, Republicans, Third Party
Americans Elect Will Cleanup Politics With Secret Donations, an Issue-free Platform, and Magical Thinking
With Congress enjoying record-low approval ratings and Washington seemingly unable to cope with the challenges of a sputtering economy, many have suggested the time is ripe for reforming the political process. The Senate could reduce the number of veto-points in our political system by eliminating the filibuster. Or Congress could pass campaign finance reform in response to the Citizens United ruling.
Or, an amorphous third-party group could combine the civility and policy insight of random Internet commenters with the democratic influence of secret hedge fund donors to run a candidate for president…
Thousands of volunteers are charged now with recruiting more than 1 million delegates, who will start drafting candidates for the special ticket this winter. Next spring, according to the Americans Elect plan, they will vote in three rounds online, and the field will be narrowed to six names. Those names then must be willing to run and declare their intention to do so, which will include setting up a campaign and filing with the Federal Elections Commission. And then in June, the delegates will vote again, in up to three rounds online, until a majority is reached for the actual candidate.
In other words, by June, organizers of Americans Elect are going to be scrambling to figure out how to keep Lyndon LaRouche from becoming their candidate. But wait! Even a vanity third-party effort requires financing to get on the ballot in all 50 states. Just whose cash will save us from the partisan duopoly?
Kahlil Byrd, the group's CEO, said it is operating "completely within the bounds" of the law. He noted that unlike a traditional political group, "Americans Elect has no candidate and has no issue."
As for the donors, he said, the reason they want to remain secret is to avoid political payback. "This is a very tough political environment," he said. "Retribution is real."
I haven't been this excited by a vague, pointless, secretive billionaire-funded third-party effort since
Unity '08No Labels.
Photo by Joshua Roberts/Getty Images News/GettyImages
Tags: FEC, Third Party
* Dangerous cleavage outbreak contained by Canadian government.
* Rick Perry's Medicaid plan uncomfortably liked by Democrats.
* Can Barack Obama win reelection without the janitor vote?
* Turns out the reason Democrats can't win is because they're a third party.
* Gary Johnson criticizes GOP debate audience, damaging chances of winning nomination.
* Florida Gov. Rick Scott reads teleprompter joke off teleprompter screen.
Tags: Barack Obama, Canada, Democrats, Florida, Jewish, Medicaid, Pork Barrel, Primaries, Republicans, Rick Perry, Rick Scott, Third Party