Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson is preferred by 5.3 percent of likely voters in the upcoming presidential race, according to a national poll released by JZ Analytics released Friday (July 13).
It’s just the second time in recent months that the former two-term New Mexico governor has been included in a national survey with Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Back in May, Johnson received just a little more than 2 percent in a JZ Analytics/Washington Times poll so the Friday polls shows Johnson more than doubling that number.“That’s a big deal,” Johnson said by telephone to Capitol Report New Mexico on Saturday. “We’re at 5 [percent] today, we could get to 7 tomorrow because people will check it out.”
Here’s how the question was put to 893 likely voters across the country between July 10-13:
If the election for president were held today, for whom would you vote?
|Democrat Barack Obama||389||43.6%|
|Republican Mitt Romney||340||38.0%|
|Libertarian Gary Johnson||47||5.3%|
JZ Analytics also asked the question leaving out Johnson’s name and here were the results:
|Democrat Barack Obama||401||44.9%|
|Republican Mitt Romney||376||42.1%|
Leaving Johnson’s name off helps Romney in this poll, with the likely Republican nominee going from 5.6 points behind Obama to 2.8 points behind.
Johnson has had considerable trouble getting major polling organizations to include his name in their surveys. As we reported earlier this week, a batch of new presidential polls came out in the past few days but ignored Johnson.
But the release of the JZ Analytics polls Friday and Johnson’s respectable showing in it had the Libertarian Party candidate optimistic.
“It’s all good, from our vantage point a lot more money is coming in,” Johnson said Saturday from Las Vegas where he was making a campaign stop at a libertarian-leaning meeting called Freedom Fest. “If people get the notion that I could win, that could be a game-changer. We’re not there yet, I’m not saying that, but these numbers are encouraging.”
Will other pollsters start including Johnson’s in their surveys?
“You would think so,” Johnson said Saturday.
Well-known pollster John Zogby merged his company with IBOPE two years ago and on May 16 on the firm’s website, it promised to readers, “Rest assured, we will be including Gary Johnson as we move forward.” As far as we know, IBOPE/Zogby.com has not released a national presidential survey since that posting.