Jacob T. Levy at Bleeding Heart Libertarians argues that Gary Johnson helps Clinton more than he helps Trump:

And this is the pattern in almost every poll I’ve looked at that compares the 2-way and 4-way races. It’s the pattern in a large majority of states including most swing states. It’s the pattern you would expect from two former Republican governors running a ticket against a deeply unpopular (und un-conservative and unhinged) Republican nominee. It’s the pattern you would expect from the fact that (at this writing) six traditionally-Republican newspaper editorial boards, including the very conservative swing state New Hampshire Union Leader and the rock-ribbed Chicago Tribune and Detroit Free Press, have endorsed Johnson. I’m happy that Johnson and Weld have run a more leftward campaign than Libertarians usually do, and have emphasized Libertarians’ liberalism on drugs, crime, policing, imprisonment, and war. I’m happy that they’re bringing some young liberals into the movement, and I think that’s good for the future of libertarianism. But it’s still the case that the low-tax, free-market, free-trade candidates running against a protectionist Republican consistently bleed off a few more disaffected Republicans than they do Democrats. And the punditry, commentary, and strategy that pits Clinton’s interests directly against Johnson-Weld’s is mistaken.

I find the argument convincing, and I wouldn’t have the chops to challenge it if I didn’t. But…

…If Johnson (and Stein) weren’t running, and Clinton and Trump were the only ones on the ballot. I’d vote for Clinton hands down. My (potential) vote for Johnson will in my case take a vote away from Clinton. That might not matter in Sangamon. I haven’t really looked at the polls, but Sangamon tends to go Democratic and strikes me as anti-Trump anyway. Still in my case, if I vote for Johnson, that will be a loss for Clinton.


Category: Espresso

About the Author

Gabriel Conroy (conroy, fka Pierre Corneille and corneille1640) is an ex-graduate student. Now he writes blogs! He has a solo blog--Ye Olde Republicke. The views expressed by Gabriel (or Pierre, or corneille1640) are his alone and do not necessarily reflect those of his spouse, employer, or his co-bloggers at Hitcoffee.

2 Responses to My vote in the four-way race

  1. Plinko says:

    I noticed the other day that the Georgia Republicans for Gary Johnson page has 1400 fans, the GA Democrats for GJ has about 130. That should tell you about all you need to know.
    As far as I can tell, the primary effect Johnson has had is allowing those relatively few Republicans who want to do the liberty thing more than the anti-abortion thing to have someone they could stomach voting for rather than sitting it out.

    If Johnson truly hurts democrats anywhere, I would think it’s down ballot. For a while now I think HRC and the national party has largely hoped for NeverTrumpers to just stay home rather than decide to vote for GJ and then probably vote Republican down ticket.

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