June 16, 2016

Mixed results for Gary Johnson in latest polls


Gary Johnson speaks with a supporter during the election at the 2016 Libertarian National Convention

More and more pollsters are including Gary Johnson as an option in presidential horserace questions and Johnson still isn’t quite hitting the big 15 percent threshold—especially when another third party candidate is thrown in the mix.

The three most recent national polls to throw Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate, into the mix were the Bloomberg/Selzer, CBS News and Ipsos/Reuters polls.

Reaching 15 percent is important because all presidential candidates with an average of that level of support qualify to appear on nationally-televised presidential debates. The Commission on Presidential Debates runs these debates.

Johnson, a former governor of New Mexico, performs best in the CBS News poll, which puts him at 11 percent, four percent off of the 15 percent mark. Presumptive Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton leads with 39 percent while presumptive Republican candidate Donald Trump receives 32 percent.

Without Johnson included, Clinton leads 43 percent to 37 percent.

Johnson missed out in double-digits in the Bloomberg/Selzer poll. He reaches 9 percent support to Clinton’s 49 percent and Trump’s 37 percent.

The poll with the worst numbers for Johnson is also the poll that includes another option: Likely Green Party candidate Jill Stein. The Ipsos/Reuters poll has Johnson at 6 percent while Stein takes 4 percent. Clinton leads with 39 percent and Trump is back at 29 percent.

One poll that didn’t include Johnson or Stein is a Rasmussen Reports poll. That poll found Clinton leading 44 percent to 39 percent. While Johnson’s name was not included, 14 percent said they would vote for ‘other.”

Johnson and Stein are both parties to a lawsuit against the Commission on Presidential Debates. The two third-party candidates say the system is exclusionary to third-party candidates.

The CBS News poll surveyed 1,048 registered voters between June 9 and June 13 on the question including Johnson. The pollster says the margin of error for the poll is +/- 3 percentage points for the full poll, of 1,280 adults, though did not give a margin of error for the slightly smaller sample. The pollster used live phone calls.

The Bloomberg/Selzer poll surveyed 750 likely voters between June 10 and June 13 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.6 percentage points. The pollster used live phone calls.

The Ipsos/Reuters poll surveyed 1,323 registered voters between June 11 and June 15 and has a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points. The pollster surveyed respondents on the internet.