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Poll shows Johnson could impact electoral votes with party switch
Former Gov. Gary Johnson could be a big factor in the race for New Mexico's five electoral votes if he runs for president on the Libertarian ticket, according to the results of the latest Public Policy Poll of New Mexico voters, released Friday.
Johnson, in a Friday interview at the state Capitol, said he hasn't completely made up his mind about seeking the Libertarian nod. But he sounded like that's the direction he's heading in. He said he'd probably make an announcement of his plans in New Mexico in the near future.
According to the poll, in a race between Johnson, President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Obama would get 44 percent, Romney would get 27 percent and Johnson would get 23 percent.
If the current front-runner, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, is the GOP candidate, Obama would get 45 percent, Gingrich 28 percent and Johnson would get 20 percent.
"As a third-party candidate, Johnson would draw 26-30 percent of the Republican votes, 12-16 percent of Democrats, and actually win independents with 31-33 percent," the PPP polling memo said.
Johnson was happy about the poll results, noting that if he actually won the state, he'd be the first Libertarian to win any electoral votes in New Mexico.
Johnson, who served two terms as governor between 1995 and 2003, has been running for the Republican nomination. But he wasn't invited to most of the Republican debates and most national polls have quit listing him as a candidate. Last month he told The New Mexican he is seriously considering a run with the Libertarian Party, which already is on nearly all state ballots.
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