Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson has dropped out of the Republican presidential race. He rarely ever polled above 8 — people, not percentage points. He made a popular Rush Limbaugh joke about doggie poop during one of the two debates in which he appeared. He took his shirt off for the papers and rode a bike. He courted pagans, online gamblers, and other knaves. And now he will run for the Libertarian party nomination, and maybe decide the presidential election.
But before Johnson makes it to the general election presidential ballot, he could face some tough primary competition against a certifiable recluse muppet dwelling in a Mexican Luddite cave:
Now, Johnson will seek the Libertarian nod at the party's national convention in Las Vegas in May. Party officials said last month that they are holding out hope that Paul and former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura would contend for their nomination, though Paul is now the GOP front-runner in Iowa and Ventura is vacationing at his home in Mexico, where he does not have a telephone or an Internet connection.
(If you've never seen it, the Libertarian party convention is one of the more entertaining parts of the whole election cycle.)
As libertarians say every four years, this could be the election where their party's candidate breaks through and makes an impact! As Politico explains, there's at least one swing state that a Johnson candidacy would likely hand to Obama:
According to a Public Policy Polling survey of New Mexico conducted Dec. 10-12, Johnson as a Libertarian candidate could impact the vote in his home state.
PPP found Johnson would draw between 26 and 30 percent of GOP votes, between 12 and 16 percent of Democratic votes and win independents, in a race with either Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich as the GOP nominee.
Johnson on the ballot would help Obama win New Mexico, typically a swing state, by a 17-point margin, PPP found.
He wouldn't be able to get on the ballot in every state, but in the ones that he does get on? It doesn't seem too absurd to imagine that in this atmosphere, where both parties are totally despised, he could clock in with just enough votes to turn some state in one of those two totally despised parties' favor. Or he could just get 8 total votes, again. I don't know; let's just say that he's an improvement over Bob Barr.
Good luck Gary Johnson!
[Image via AP]