Third Party Votes Could Swing Electoral College

As the race for the presidency heads into the final stretch, it seems that there are several states that will have voters pushing for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. Others, a much smaller percentage, will be casting a vote for Constitutional Party candidate Virgil Goode or Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

A recent Suffolk University Political Research Center Poll indicates that both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are in a tie at 47% of the vote in New Hampshire. This indicates a huge shift in momentum from the end of September where Obama was leading by fifteen points.

However, in the same poll, six percent of voters remain either undecided or plan to vote for Gary Johnson. Nearly 4-to-1 of these voters claim they would vote for Romney if it was just Romney and Obama on the ballot.

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Johnson is polling nearly seven percent of the vote in the state!

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The director of the Boston-based Suffolk polling agency, David Paleologos commented, “Politics is full of ironies. Gary Johnson voters are predisposed to voting against the incumbent president, but Johnson’s presence on the New Hampshire presidential ballot is actually helping Obama. Those anti-incumbent voters — at least right now — aren’t finding their way to Mitt Romney.”

This is not just in the state of New Hampshire though. As Ben Swann reported recently, polling was conducted in Ohio and there when voters were given a choice between Obama, Romney and Johnson, Johnson took 10.6% of the vote.

This is shaping up to be a very interesting race for the White House in 2012. While the polls will shift over the next couple of weeks, the one thing that the media and even the campaigns are silent on is third party candidate. Whether you like it or not they are relevant to the race and they will have an impact.

The question then becomes, since those candidates, such as Johnson can get votes, even ten percent of the vote, shouldn’t one or both of the candidates from the two major parties address what draws voters to a candidate like Johnson?

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