Telling Numbers from Latest Presidential Poll in Montana: Independent Voters Choose Gary Johnson (If They Know About Him)
A recent poll conducted by Public Policy Polling among 737 likely voters from Montana, and released October 10, 2012 showed that, among independents that had an opinion either way about Gary Johnson roughly 56% would choose him for president over Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. The problem is, only 18% of those independents polled had an opinion about him (and 10% selected him over Obama and Romney), numbers that show that Gary Johnson is not getting anywhere near his fair share of publicity from major media outlets, which is where most people get their information from. Compare this to 42% of independents who had an opinion of Barack Obama choosing Obama and 48% of people who had an opinion of Mitt Romney choosing Romney.
Among all likely voters in the poll, Gary Johnson pulled in 6%, but that equates to roughly 35% if you only include people who had an opinion of him, one way or the other (17% of voters had an opinion of Johnson). These numbers show that simply put, voters do not know Gary Johnson. It appears that if Johnson were to get his voice and opinions heard by more of the public, he would have a legitimate shot at having a significant impact on the election, perhaps even pulling off an upset.
One of the biggest things that has hurt Johnson is his exclusion from the Presidential Debates, where they arbitrarily require a third-party candidate to poll at or above 15% in a national poll to be included. A major reason for this is the fact that the Committee of Presidential Debates, which determines who is allowed to debate, is controlled by the two parties: democratic and republican, and they know that if they include other candidates, it will only hurt the chances of their two candidates. Gary Johnson is doing his best to be included in the debates, so people who don’t agree with either Romney or Obama, can have more choices but so far the Committee has been more than reluctant to give up their stranglehold.