by Matt Welch, Reason.com
This morning brought the first three-way poll since former New Mexico governor and Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson officially announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate last week. And boy, is it a doozy: 39 percent for Democratic incumbent and frontrunner Martin Heinrich, 21 percent for Johnson, and just 11 percent for Republican nominee Mick Rich, according to an August 17–18 Emerson College e-poll of 500 registered voters.
That 21 percent figure, coming as it does before any real campaigning has begun, would mark the second-highest vote total of any Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate in the party's 47-year history. (Alaska's Joe Miller, a Tea Party guy, received 29 percent in 2016.) Also, an unusually large 30 percent of respondents said they were undecided, perhaps not surprising in a race that until last month showed little interest.
The news for Rich is even worse on second glance: More Republicans in the survey favored Johnson, 27 percent to Rich's 25 percent. And the Libertarian clobbers the Republican among both Democrats (13 percent to 3 percent, with Heinrich getting 60) and independents (25 percent to 7 percent, with Heinrich at 32). Registered Democrats in New Mexico outnumber Republicans, unaffiliateds, and Libertarians by a ratio of 46 to 28 to 24 to 1...
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