Tags: Trump Administration | Dick Morris | Gary | Johnson | Libertarian | Debates

Dick Morris: Gary Johnson Could Make Debates, Be Major Factor in Race

Image: Dick Morris: Gary Johnson Could Make Debates, Be Major Factor in Race

(AP Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 03 Aug 2016 06:58 AM

To qualify for inclusion in the fall presidential debates, a candidate needs at least 15 percent in the national polls.

Libertarian Gary Johnson is now at 7.4 percent in the realclearpolitics.com average of recent polls, up from 4.5 percent June 13.

As popular discontent with both of the major party candidates spreads, the chances that Johnson will reach the threshold obviously increase.

Johnson can raise money. To date, he has amassed $1.4 million and has just under half a million on hand. His biggest donor is GTCR LLC, a private equity and venture capital fund that has donated $10,000. Its principals are David A. Donnini and Philip A. Canfield.

If Johnson can ride discontent with both Trump and Hillary, he could well reach the magical 15 percent threshold. After that, the sky is the limit.

With both Trump and Hillary over 50 percent in their unfavorability ratings, Johnson will gain support quickly.

That will confront Trump and Hillary with a dilemma: Do they attack Johnson or leave him alone? To mention him would be to drive votes in his direction making it a three-way race. But to fail to go after him leaves him to run as a blank slate on which voters can write anything they want in Trump or Hillary but do not find there.

At the moment, Johnson seems to draw equally on both major candidates' voter pool. In a two way race, according to the realclearpolitics.com average, Clinton leads by 4.4 points, the exact same margin she has in a four-way race (including Green Party candidate Jill Stein).

But because the intensity of support for Trump is higher than it is for Clinton, Johnson - over time - would likely draw more from the Democrats than from the Republicans.

Johnson's Libertarian platform would seem to coincide with Hillary's on social issues. He calls himself "fiscally conservative and socially liberal" and says "we don't care what you are socially as long as you don't force it on others." But he moves into Trump territory when he condemns "military interventions" that he says "have led to things being made worse, not better."

But issues will have little to do with his impact. The more personal the attacks on Trump and Hillary become, the more attractive Johnson will loom as an alternative. And, as a blank slate, he may escape major negatives himself.

It's too early to predict what the Johnson effect might be, but it is not too soon to notice his rise in the polls and to speculate that he might make it into the debates and become a key factor in the race.

(Note that in 1990 and 1994, Governor Bill Weld of Massachusetts was Dick Morris' client. He is currently running for VP with Johnson and Dick is not involved).

Dick Morris is the author of the New York Times bestseller "Armageddon: How Trump Can Beat Hillary" available at bookstores everywhere or check out our free offer - just click here now.

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
Newsfront
To qualify for inclusion in the fall presidential debates, a candidate needs at least 15 percent in the national polls.
Dick Morris, Gary, Johnson, Libertarian, Debates
497
2016-58-03
Wednesday, 03 Aug 2016 06:58 AM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved