Gary Johnson a 'nonfactor,' Priebus says
October 7th, 2012
11:09 AM ET
9 years ago

Gary Johnson a 'nonfactor,' Priebus says

(CNN) - Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said he's not concerned that Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson will tip the scales in November.

"In fact, I see that it's almost a nonfactor," Priebus said on CNN's "State of the Union."

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With the presidential race in a statistical dead heat, Johnson's presence on the ballot could influence the horse race in crucial battleground states by pulling votes away from GOP nominee Mitt Romney.

However, Johnson's campaign told CNN last month that some of the candidate's popularity comes from former supporters of President Barack Obama in states like Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada.

A new poll released Sunday by the University of Denver showed 47% of likely voters in Colorado said they would vote for Obama, while 43% chose Romney. Four percent, however, indicated they would vote for someone else.

Some have pointed to third-party candidate Ross Perot's significant share of the vote - 19% - in the 1992 presidential election, which is believed to have drawn support away from incumbent President George H. W. Bush.

Johnson, a former 2012 Republican presidential candidate who became the Libertarian nominee in May, is rarely included in national polls, but a recent CNN/ORC International Poll indicated 4% of likely voters back Johnson, while 3% support Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Obama, meanwhile, had 47%, with Romney at 44% when all four candidates were factored in.

However, Priebus argued Johnson lacks the popularity and name recognition to represent a strong enough threat to turn the election for either candidate.

"(Voters) are not going to throw their vote away when we have an election here that's about the future of America. I don't see that happening," Priebus told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.

- CNN's Dan Merica contributed to this report.

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

Filed under: 2012 • Reince Priebus • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Kulanapan

    So CNN stops reporting on Gary Johnson in early September, and a month later, this is what you come up with? The man's polling numbers only continue to rise, despite your blackout coverage on him.

    Well I guess we know how you feel about fair coverage.

    October 7, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
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