Libertarian Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson Leads Hillary Clinton In Important Presidential Poll

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson is proving that he is not to be discredited as a viable choice for the upcoming presidential election. Johnson recently bested Hillary Clinton in an important Fox News poll. The poll was regarding the largest subset of the voting population which is independents. In the poll, Gary Johnson claimed 23 percent of the voter base with Clinton clocking in with the least at 22 percent. Both Johnson and Clinton were led by Republican nominee Donald Trump who garnered 32 percent of the independent voter population.

The Hill reports that independent Gary Johnson is polling strongly for a third-party candidate. In fact, many believe that Johnson will be able to garner a large enough support base to earn his place on the state during the presidential debates which would allow the Libertarian the ability to be featured alongside the Democrat and Republican nominees on a national stage. To be included in the national debate, the third-party candidate must secure 15 percent of the vote in a national poll prior to the debate. Johnson is already polling in the double digits with 12 percent of the popular vote.

While the presidential debate may seem like a small piece of the general election, if Gary Johnson is able to debate alongside Trump and presumably Clinton, the Libertarian will be given the opportunity to sway the opinion of voters to a party they may not be fully familiar with for the 2016 election.

The presidential debate candidate inclusion policies have long been the center of controversy in the third-party voter community. In fact, there is a movement for the Presidential Debate Commission to include all presidential candidates that are qualified in enough states to receive at least 50 percent of the vote if they won each state.

With independent voters making up 43 percent of the voting population, the fact that Johnson is leading Clinton is telling of the upcoming election and the place that a third-party candidate may play in the outcome. The current Fox News national survey shows Clinton leading the presidential race with 39 percent, Trump following closely behind with 36 percent, and Johnson with 12 percent. With a 3 percent margin of error, Trump and Clinton could be viewed as neck and neck with Johnson thrown in as a wild card.

Though some are claiming that Johnson will make it harder for the Democratic presidential candidate to secure a win by taking votes from the candidate, the Fox News poll shows that the removal of Johnson from polling does not change Clinton’s lead over Trump. With Johnson out of the picture, Clinton is polling at 42 percent with Trump polling at 39 percent. This is the same three-point spread seen in the poll which includes Johnson.

In another interesting twist for Johnson, Mitt Romney says he will not vote for Trump or Clinton and is considering backing Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson instead.

“I’ll get to know Gary Johnson better and see if he’s someone I could end up voting for.”

What do you think about Gary Johnson leading Hillary Clinton in the presidential poll of independent voters? Does the poll show that Johnson may be a viable presidential candidate if he is given the opportunity to highlight the Libertarian Party at the presidential debate? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

[Image by John Raoux/ AP Photo]

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