Gary Johnson Polls At 15 Percent In Colorado, Closes In On Virginia

This election season, Gary Johnson polls have exceeded expectations for Libertarians eager for their party to gain a foothold in United States politics.

Most recently, some of these numbers show that Gary has inched closer to the 15-percent requirement that will get him on stage in the presidential debates. In one state, Colorado, Johnson is already there.

According to a recent poll released by the Wall Street Journal, NBC, and Marist on Friday morning, Gary has managed to convince 15 percent of the Colorado electorate that he is the right choice for president. Based on how numbers have changed for his rivals in the state, it appears that Johnson’s surge may be influenced by the decreasing popularity of Donald Trump.

Gary, Jill Stein, and Hillary Clinton all saw rises in Colorado poll numbers between the group’s August and July surveys. While Johnson rose from 13 to 15 percent, Stein was able to gain 3 percentage points to reach a total of 6 percent. Clinton pulled even further ahead, going from 39 percent to 41 percent of the vote.

A separate poll for Colorado was also carried out with just the two leading candidates in the mix. Sans Gary Johnson, Hillary’s lead over Trump is even larger; she managed to take 46 percent of the vote compared to his 32 percent.

Elsewhere, Gary has also made gains, albeit not quite as substantial as crossing the 15-percent threshold. The NBC/WSJ/Marist poll also looked at the battleground states of Florida, Virginia, and North Carolina. Of those, Virginia is looking the best for Johnson, as he’s managed to reach 12 percent, just under where he was polling last month in Colorado. One of the state’s representatives, Scott Rigell, recently became the first Republican in Congress to formally back the Libertarian candidate.

In North Carolina and Florida, Gary’s support expanded to 9 percent. That’s up 2 percentage points for Johnson from when the same poll was conducted in July.

While the possibility of Gary catching up to Trump and Clinton is relatively slim, his gains across the nation have made it feasible that Johnson will be the first third-party candidate on a debate stage since Ross Perot in 1992.

In order to qualify for the opportunity, Gary must nail down a 15-percent average in five select national polls. So far, Johnson hasn’t managed to do so in any country-wide questionnaires. However, if his numbers continue to rise at their current rate, he may be able to take the stage alongside Donald and Hillary.

Of the polls likely to be taken into consideration, Gary fared best in one conducted by Fox News, where he was able to secure 12 percent of the vote. That relatively high figure is, however, an outlier: Johnson is averaging 8.3 percent in the RealClearPolitics comparison of August election data. In one NBC poll with an impressive sample size of 11,480 registered voters, he stands at 10 percent.

The game-changing inclusion of a third-party candidate in the debates isn’t just the daydream of optimistic Gary supporters. Politico reported that the Commission on Presidential Debates has ordered venues to prep for the possibility of three candidates in light of recent polling. Still, CPD co-chair and former Bill Clinton White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry told the magazine that Johnson’s presence on the stage was far from a foregone conclusion.

“We won’t know the number of invitations we extend until mid-September.”

Gary Johnson has just over a month to bring his national poll numbers up to those he is enjoying in Colorado. The 2016 presidential debates are scheduled for September 26, October 9, and October 19.

[Photo by Rick Bowmer/AP Images]

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