The Libertarian Party Vote


Three days after the national election, Gary Johnson's total vote is 1,139,562, which is 0.9%, or less than the difference between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Google's Politics & Elections web page has Johnson's state percentages as follows:

3.5 NM
2.9 MT
2.5 AK
2.2 WY
2.0 ME

1.9 IN
1.8 KS
1.6 ND
1.6 SD
1.6 MO

1.5 AR
1.4 ID
1.4 NE
1.3 CO
1.3 AZ

1.2 OR
1.2 UT
1.2 VT
1.2 NH
1.2 MN

1.2 GA
1.1 NV
1.1 TX
1.1 IL
1.1 MD

1.0 CA
1.0 WA
1.0 MA
1.0 RI
1.0 NC

0.9 LA
0.9 PA
0.9 OH
0.9 HI
0.9 DE

0.9 WV
0.9 KY
0.8 IA
0.8 CT
0.8 VA

0.8 TN
0.8 SC
0.7 WI
0.7 NY
0.6 NJ

0.6 AL
0.5 MS
0.5 FL
0.0 OK (not on ballot)
0.0 MI (not on ballot)

The high percentage is in New Mexico, where Johnson was governor for two terms. The next four states are 2% to 2.9%. All are wide-open-spaces states: Montana, Alaska, Wyoming and Maine. Johnson's worst states were in the deep South — Alabama, Mississippi, Florida — and in the urban East: New York and New Jersey.

The correlation with "red" and "blue" states is fairly weak. Vermont is the "bluest" state in the union, and Utah is the "reddest." Johnson's share in each was 1.2%.

Gary Johnson did not affect the outcome of the election or the electoral vote. In none of the battleground states won by Obama — Colorado, New Hampshire, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Iowa, Virginia, Wisconsin or Florida — would the Johnson vote have flipped the state to Romney, if Romney had won all of it.

In the "battleground" states that decided the election — and in which Johnson could be a spoiler — his share was in the lower two-thirds of the distribution, ranging from 1.3% in Colorado to 0.5% in Florida. This cannot be proved, but probably a state’s being a "battleground" depressed the Johnson vote by a few tenths of a percentage point of the total vote.

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Fred Mangels

I'm pretty disappointed, despite whatever positive spin others have put on the results. No, I didn't expect Johnson to get 5%, but I didn't think upwards of 2%, maybe a bit more, was beyond reach.

We had the best third party candidate in my lifetime: a former two- term governor with a good track record, both fiscally responsible and socially tolerant as are most people, and two fairly lame major party candidates.

With the media coverage he did get- and he got some fairly decent coverage- I can't believe he didn't do better. I guess Joe and Jill Sixpack are so fixated on the two major parties even a few of them won't break away for a good third party candidate when he's right in front of them.

This doesn't bode well for the future, but that doesn't mean I won't keep trying. What's there to lose?

Courtney Allen

Interesting map and I appreciate your providing it. I understand the Libertarian party and Gary Johnson spent 3 million bucks on the election or $2.63 a vote. It was reported that the Democrat/Republican Party spent 6 billion on the two candidates they supported. This converts to $57.14 a vote. A media group that keeps track of names mentioned in media found that the D/R group had 1000 times more mentions than Gary Johnson.

It was reported that 3 million independents stayed home and did not vote. From my experience talking to good folks about the Gary one out of four did not know who I was talking about. Here is my WAG, If Gary had concentrated on getting his case to the Independents, Gary might have had twice as many votes and it would have reduced the vote cost to $1.30. My 200 bucks would have purchased twice as many votes WOW.

Ken Kraska

The long list of creeps, kooks, and crooks that have slithered into office because the LP split the vote is too numerous to mention.

MM from Georgia

True - Montana U.S. Senate, Montana governor, two House seats in Arizona, one in Utah this election went Demoleft instead of Repub because of doofus LP (losertarian) candidates. Anyone would agree Repubs are better than Demos. Harry Reid and Tim Johnson were saved from certain defeat several elections back by LP vote splitters. They're still there. Because of them, Obamacare is haunting us. Think about it. The LP isn't doing anything but helping the Demos.

Jim Henshaw

re this: "Vermont is the "bluest" state in the union"

No, my home state of Hawaii holds this dubious honor:

Vermont legislature: about 70% Democrats and Progressive Party

Hawaii legislature: about 90% Democrats

Vermont presidential vote: 67% for Obama

Hawaii presidential vote: 71% for Obama

Vermont and Hawaii congress and governor: 100% Democrats

Jon Harrison

Obama got some 61.2 million votes, Romney 58.2 million. That's a three million vote difference, or almost three times Johnson's total vote. Obama got just over 50% of the popular vote, Romney got 48%. Your math is off.

Jonathan Howard

Where's Ramsey's math "off"?

Jon Harrison

Oops, you're right. I read him to say that Johnson's vote total was greater than the difference between Obama's vote and Romney's. In fact he said it was less. An interesting psychological point, in that my mind had determined that Ramsey was trying to prove the relevance of the Libertarian candidate. In fact, he was just breaking down (for whatever reason) Johnson's miniscule share of the vote. My apologies to him.

Good catch.

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