From the little information available out there, it looks like Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson is getting about 1% of the vote, and doing so pretty consistently nationwide. This constitutes the Libertarians’ best showing since 1980, when they had a well-funded campaign (unlike this year) thanks to self-funded VP candidate David Koch, and also received 1% of the vote. Ron Paul, when he ran as the Libertarian candidate in 1988, only managed to pull in about .5% of the vote.
What this shows, I think, is that Johnson is a talented politician–something that should have already been apparent from his two terms as a Republican governor in blue-state New Mexico. Instead of ignoring him, scheming to ban him from the debates, and so on, the GOP should have embraced Johnson and used his energy and talents to their advantage once he was inevitably eliminated from the GOP primaries. Instead, they drove him to the LP. It’s too bad on both accounts. For the GOP, I could see Johnson being a Rand Paul type figure, but more popular among the secular, urban types that normally get turned off by the GOP. Meanwhile, Johnson ha doomed himself to marginality by hitching his star to the LP.
Like Ilya and Randy, I wish the LP would close up shop, and its activists devote themselves to libertarian causes in other ways. Unfortunately, Johnson’s reasonably good showing is likely to delay that day.