PPP Polls Hypothetical Colbert Americans Elect, Gary Johnson Libertarian Bids

Public Policy Polling has the following results in their first national poll of 2012:

Ron Paul matches Romney’s performance against Obama, also trailing by 5 points at 47-42. Beyond those two Newt Gingrich trails by 7 at 49-42, Rick Santorum has an 8 point deficit at 50-42, and Rick Perry trails by 11 points at 51-40.
Stephen Colbert wants to run for President but he’s not on the ballot in South Carolina. Americans Elect is on the ballot in a lot of states but doesn’t have a candidate. Could Colbert and Americans Elect’s interests intersect? We find Colbert getting 13% in a hypothetical third party run for President, compared to 41% for Obama and 38% for Romney. A Colbert bid could be a blessing in disguise for the GOP. His voters go for Obama over Romney 52-38 in a straight head to head, so his presence as a potential candidate works to the Republicans’ advantage.

36% of voters have a favorable opinion of him to 28% with a negative one. His 36% favorability is better than the entire GOP field. Romney’s at 35%, Santorum at 30%, Paul at 27%, Gingrich at 26%, and Perry at 21%. Colbert’s popular with Democrats (47/21) and independents (43/26) but not with Republicans (18/39) despite his best efforts to run as one of their Presidential candidates.

In a more plausible third party scenario Gary Johnson gets 7% as the Libertarian candidate to 47% for Obama and 40% for Romney. His voters go 33-27 for Romney in a head to head so his bid is of slight benefit to Obama.

Full results here

As far as I know, Colbert has not announced any interest in the Americans Elect nomination, nor has there been any indication whether the group’s candidate credential committee would find him “acceptable.”

The results for Johnson, while far higher than anything the Libertarians have ever actually pulled in a presidential race, are not out of line with what hypothetical Libertarian tickets have polled at this stage in past cycles. For example, following his announcement, Rasmussen Reports had Barr polling at 6% nationwide; he ended up with 0.4% of the vote – and every Libertarian presidential ticket since 1984 has ended up between 0.3% and 0.5% in actual votes.

While the poll shows Johnson pulling slightly more from Romney, Johnson himself has repeatedly speculated in TV interviews that he might pull more votes away from Obama.

39 thoughts on “PPP Polls Hypothetical Colbert Americans Elect, Gary Johnson Libertarian Bids

  1. paulie Post author

    Have you tried discussing that with either Johnson or Ventura?

    From what I have heard (second hand) Johnson wants someone who can sink a few million dollars of personal wealth into the ticket for VP, and allegedly he has someone in mind that is willing to do it (I haven’t heard who that is).

    Ventura has has he is willing to run for VP with Ron Paul, or possibly to run for president himself. I don’t know if he would want to run for VP with Johnson. Since he is better known that Johnson, I wouldn’t just assume he would be interested in second place. He also has a history of speculating about possible runs and not following through. And, his stances as a candidate for both Mayor and Governor were much more libertarian than his record in office.

  2. Ad Hoc

    Colbert as the Americans Elect candidate is a brilliant idea.

    I wonder if there’s any way to make it actually happen?

  3. Hugh Mann

    What if it was Colbert-Johnson on the Americans Elect ticket and Johnson-Colbert on the Libertarian ticket?

    Now that would be epic.

  4. Peter Orvetti

    I don’t think Colbert meets the AE founders’ standards of notability and acceptability, but I could be wrong.

    Jimmy Wales would be an interesting Johnson running mate.

  5. paulie Post author

    I don’t think Colbert meets the AE founders’ standards of notability and acceptability, but I could be wrong.

    Any reasons why he would (or would not?)

  6. John Hain

    Americas Elect is a revolutionary type of nominating process unlike any traditional political party. The nominee will reflect the views of the majority of its members, so you must join and participate to have a voice. This could represent the beginning of the end for the dysfunctional parties if enough of us choose to abandon them in favor of a much more democratic on-line selection process. It will fail if we treat it like a joke or protest. Go to their website and get involved now!

  7. AnthonyD.

    well, I think I remember listening to some sort of podcast or something from the Badnarik campaign, and he and his campaign “nanager” were talking about the problem they were having because no one would rent a car to someone without a driver’s license, and neither of them had one.

    so, yea, I’d say Stone has credibility. Especially about electability. (Regardless of what you think of his politics, which I don’t like either).

  8. Thomas L. Knapp

    @12,

    Badnarik didn’t have a campaign manager until after he was nominated.

    His campaign managers, Fred Collins and Barbara Goushaw, both had driver’s licenses.

    Prior to his nomination, he had a campaign aide, Jon Airheart, who had a driver’s license and drove Badnarik around.

    I think you’re misremembering.

  9. Steve

    I’d love to see Colbert shine a huge spotlight on AE. Most Americans aren’t going to hear about them until they suddenly come out with warm and fuzzy Bloomberg ads. Having Colbert mocking their process would be an inoculation of sorts against them. And it would be a natural for him after his Super PAC/GOP campaign jokes run their course.

  10. D. Lou Shenoll

    LOL- WTH – Colbert is a comedian. Forty to fifty years ago another comedian named Pat Paulson ran for Prez each cycle. It’s a JOKE people. Colbert IS NOT a serious candidate – LOL – dang I thought there were grey cells in abundance at this site, but this takes the CAKE – lol

    Anyone have any ideas who the $ man is GJ has in mind ? If this rumor materalizes it truly could get interesting !

    I saw yesterday on a poll CNN was showing that Ron Paul fell within the margin of error of defeating Obama. Would any of you “l”s every thought such a thing was possible ? VIVA LIBERTARIANS !!! O 48-46 P, O 48-47 MR, O 49-44 NG, O 49-42 RS.

    Gary Johnson 2012: The People’s President – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54PLUhpL8Y4&feature=related

  11. Paulie

    “For the first time, the Libertarians actually have a credible candidate,”

    I remember hearing people say that about Barr.

    I’m sure people said that about Paul in ’87-88.

    Harry Browne seemed pretty credible to me, although it’s true he was never a governor.

    None of that made more than a 0.1% difference in the vote totals so far. I guess, barring e.g. Paul or maybe Ventura getting in the race, we’ll see if Governor of a small state a decade ago is significantly better than multi-term Congressman more recently or Libertarian activist/author/whatever.

    While hope springs eternal, it’s hardly a foregone conclusion.

    As far as the numbers the best so far has been Clark, as most here already know. It was before my time (I was eight at the time and for Carter, mostly because the other kids on my bus were for Reagan), but I did read his campaign book a couple of years ago and didn’t really detect whatever alleged non-libertarian positioning caused Rothbard and friends such apoplexy as I read about it some time before. It seemed very good to me, and remarkably timely despite the 30 year gap between when it came out and when I read it.

    Will Johnson be more credible than Clark? I guess we’ll probably find out in November, if things go as currently seems most likely.

    I’ve read that Clark made hundreds of campaign stops at colleges during his run. Would love to see Johnson try that.

    He might also be well advised not to associate too closely with Stone.

  12. Paulie

    I’d love to see Colbert shine a huge spotlight on AE. Most Americans aren’t going to hear about them until they suddenly come out with warm and fuzzy Bloomberg ads. Having Colbert mocking their process would be an inoculation of sorts against them. And it would be a natural for him after his Super PAC/GOP campaign jokes run their course.

    Thanks for saving me some typing, I meant to say that myself.

  13. Paulie

    Colbert is a comedian.

    So? Reagan was an actor and Carter was a peanut farmer.

    It’s a JOKE people.

    It’s a funnier one than our “serious” politics, which are a bad joke.

    I saw yesterday on a poll CNN was showing that Ron Paul fell within the margin of error of defeating Obama.

    He’d have to get past Romney first, and then there’s the general election campaign, which hasn’t happened yet. It would be very, very ugly.

  14. paulie Post author

    I’ve read that Clark made hundreds of campaign stops at colleges during his run. Would love to see Johnson try that.

    Speaking of things I’ve been waiting to see, it appears the LP is finally implementing an idea I’ve pushed to Wes and others for a few years now….

    http://www.lp.org/LPsolutions

    Probably because they finally thought of it on their own :-)

  15. AnthonyD.

    TKnapp @ 13,

    Stone has his very own Wikipedia page describing his career as a consultant. Those two you mentioned do not. That makes stone more credible in my book.

  16. AnthonyD.

    Paulie @ 16,

    Crediblity may not necessarily mean more votes. On the other hand, that does not mean we avoid credibility. One thing’s for sure: this is the first LP candidate (if he wins the nomination) that will have actual executive experience at the business and government levels.

    Paul is obviously credible. Ventura, although with executive experience, is not credible. He has several screws loose, with more to follow. See his conspriacy a g0-go beliefs about 9/11 and the CIA plot to kill Kennedy.

  17. paulie Post author

    One thing’s for sure: this is the first LP candidate (if he wins the nomination) that will have actual executive experience at the business and government levels.

    Barr owns a consulting company, and was a US attorney prior to being in Congress.

    Browne owned a financial consulting business.

    Marrou owned businesses as well.

    Paul owned a medical practice.

    Not too sure before then.

    Paul is obviously credible.

    That would contradict Stone’s quote, which you are defending, unless he has only gained credibility subsequent to his LP run.

    Ventura, although with executive experience, is not credible. He has several screws loose, with more to follow. See his conspriacy a g0-go beliefs about 9/11 and the CIA plot to kill Kennedy.

    I don’t see that as “screws loose.” Obviously credibility is in the eye of the beholder.

    Even more so if you consider Stone to be credible.

  18. AnthonyD.

    paulie @ 25,

    In regards to the original link I provided, I was really just focusing on the fact that an consummate insider like Stone calls him credible. I may not even like Stone. I may look at him the way law enforcement looks at a street prostitute with a crack habit: low down and dirty, but may know whats what on the street.

    Also, I don’t need to walk in lockstep with Stone. I think Paul is a credible candidate, Stone does not. We disagree. Big whoop.

    None of those folks you mentioned actually has the combo of private and public letter government executive level experience.

  19. Peter Orvetti

    AE’s draft rules for automatic candidate certification are below. This doesn’t necessarily invalidate Colbert, but it would put his candidacy in the hands of the AE leadership. (I also don’t think Colbert really wants to spend most of 2012 as an actual candidate for office.)

    2.2.1.1 Automatic Qualification. The Candidate Certification Committee shall automatically certify as qualified any natural person who is eligible to serve as President and who has served in any of the following positions without removal from office or current criminal indictment or conviction: Vice President, United States Senator, Member of Congress, Presidential Cabinet Member, Head of a federal agency, Governor, Mayor of any of the largest 100 cities in the United States, Chairman or Chief Executive Officer or President of any corporation or non-profit corporation or philanthropic organization with 1,000 or more employees, President of a national labor union with 100,000 or more members, military officer who has attained flag rank, Ambassador, and President of an American-based university with more than 4,000 students.

  20. AnthonyD.

    that private and public LEVEL government experience.

    As far as Stone’s reputation goes in the link you provided, I say “good.” All is fair in this war. I am certain Stone must know where a lot of the corpses are buried in the republican party. Time to dig ‘em up.

  21. paulie Post author

    I may look at him the way law enforcement looks at a street prostitute with a crack habit: low down and dirty, but may know whats what on the street.

    Ah, now you are dealing with my world :-)

    As you may have surmised from books and movies, or perhaps even real life as I have, police informants are often out to settle scores, curry favor, or just seek attention.

    In other words what they say is not always reliable and it is useful to examine what the actual motivation behind any story they spin might plausibly be.

    Towards that end, I highly recommend familiarizing yourself with all the stories and comments at http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/?s=%22roger+stone%22 … it’s quite a fascinating little rabbit hole warren, to say the least.

    What role, if any, Johnson may be playing in all this is a fascinating question.

  22. paulie Post author

    AE’s draft rules for automatic candidate certification are below.

    They have changed several times and may well change again.

    This doesn’t necessarily invalidate Colbert, but it would put his candidacy in the hands of the AE leadership.

    Given what he is doing to the superpacs I think he’d have a lot of fun with that process.

    (I also don’t think Colbert really wants to spend most of 2012 as an actual candidate for office.)

    It depends on what you mean by “actual.” I don’t think he’d play it straight, but he could get all sorts of mileage out of riding it for all it’s worth.

  23. paulie Post author

    All is fair in this war.

    Which side is Stone on? Is he a double or triple agent? Consider his various roles in the 2010 NY gubernatorial election, for instance.

    There are als0 long standing links between him and Trump, Trump and Ventura, and more besides.

    And then throw Americans Elect into the mix.

    Who might their candidates be?

    The plot thickens.

    Or not.

  24. Hugh Mungus Fungus

    Has Cain been included in any SC polls since Colbert has been asking viewers to vote for him as a proxy?

  25. scott

    Hi very interesting blog and discussion guys.

    I have to admit Gary Johnson would be a very strong candidate if he got his message out. This is speaking as someone who has voted for either Nader or the Democrats his entire voting life. Now I’ve become interested in the Paul campaign but it’s difficult to fully get behind Paul without agreeing with him on issues like monetary policy (not sure Gold is the answer) or environmental policy (global warming denialism is a bad sign).

    I’m not interested in empowering environmentalists to rule the world, I just want to support leaders who live in the real world, and are capable of recognizing the scientific consensus on global warming, and who have enough common sense to understand that some collective intervention is required to stop human populations from expanding indefinitely–the resources of the Earth are limited. This is an important issue and a big challenge for libertarians. At least Gary Johnson is willing to admit global warming exists–that’s a start.

    Gary Johnson would have been the stronger challenger if activists and media had gotten behind him, because he could have attracted a large number of disenchanted liberals. With Paul the establishment didn’t have to worry so much because people are so conditioned by the cultural wars that they can’t imagine “crossing over” and voting for someone as conservative as Paul.

    In short Johnson is a strong candidate, and I will seriously consider voting for him rather than for Stein or Obama. If GJ is the nominee, for the first time in my lifetime the Libertarian could draw more from would-be Democrats then would-be Republicns.

  26. Sic Rantorum

    How do you know that hasn’t happened already?

    For example, Ed Clark billed himself as a low tax liberal.

    I don’t know how old you are, so a more recent example (granted, not from a presidential race) would be http://www.lp.org/blogs/staff/nc-poll-8-of-liberals-6-of-moderates-4-of-conservatives-support-libertarian-beitler

    In general, the actual polls I have seen is that Libertarians usually draw about equally from would-be Democrats and would-be Republicans.

    The rest is just media positioning.

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