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Up for Debate

So, Fox News ran an article yesterday about the Gary Johnson campaign.  It was the usual story that you can expect at this point in the campaign cycle, about how the spoiler candidate will end up helping the candidate that he is farther from.  Specifically, the article suggested that the Libertarian, Johnson, might draw enough votes in battleground states to deny Romney victory.  Anyone who would vote Libertarian, you see, would obviously otherwise vote Republican.

Sure, we have been hearing that for years, but it never pans out entirely.  The LP also gets plenty of votes from left-of-center types who are tired of the Democrats complicity in the drug war and overseas adventurism, not to mention those leftists to whom there really is such a thing as too much government intrusion and spending.

But I don’t really have to spend a lot of time speculating on this.  If the Libertarian candidate in any race was seen as a means of ensuring victory for the Democrats, would you not expect an outpouring of Democrat support?  Would you not expect, in this instance, George Soros and others to make major contributions to the Johnson campaign?  Would you not expect an extremely fair-minded Barack Obama to argue for the inclusion of Johnson in the debates?  Would you not expect NPR to give Johnson major air time?

This obvious strategy never seems to happen, so I would argue that political professionals know what pundits and likely voters apparently do not, that Libertarians draw fairly evenly from both major parties.  It is the only way to explain it.  After all, we are only talking about needing a few percentage points here to spell victory.  Well worth the time and expense.

Unless, of course, the major players are mortally afraid of what might happen if Johnson and other Libertarians got some major face time with the American public, an army of Goliath’s afraid of a little David.  It might ruin the game for everyone, Democrat and Republican.

Now that’s a happy thought.


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