Washington

Poll: Johnson Benefits From Unpopularity of Trump, Clinton

Johnson recently clinched the Libertarian nomination for president. (Image via Flickr)

With a general election shaping up to feature two of the most historically unpopular presidential candidates of all time, a new Morning Consult poll shows Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson emerging as a more palatable choice for some voters.

The former New Mexico governor and 2012 Libertarian candidate was the top choice for 10 percent of registered voters polled June 1 through June 4. When asked what their main reason was for backing Johnson, 72 percent of his supporters said it was because they don’t like either of the other likely candidates, GOP nominee Donald Trump and Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.

One-fourth of the small cadre of people supporting Johnson said they support him because they share his political views. He advocates for, among other things, legalizing marijuana, eliminating the current tax code, and making it easier for Mexican citizens to obtain temporary work visas in the United States.

Johnson is still far from a household name. Almost two-thirds of voters (61 percent) can’t identify him at all, while only 31 percent recognize him as a politician. When described as a politician, 17 percent of voters accurately identified him as a former governor, while 12 percent thought he was a former member of Congress.

Which major presidential candidate Johnson affects more in Morning Consult’s head-to-head matchup varies slightly based on how he is identified, although the differences are marginal. When he is identified as an independent, Clinton edges Trump, 37 percent to 35 percent.

Brand nameRankScoreMCBI brand
Paramount Plus1+14.2Paramount_Plus
Peacock2+11.6Peacock
Reddit3+8.7Reddit
TikTok4+8.1TikTok
Afterpay5+7.9Afterpay
Pep Boys6+7.2Pep_Boys
Cash App7+6.8CashApp
Moderna8+6.8Moderna
Affirm9+6.5Affirm
Venmo10+6.4Venmo
T.J. Maxx11+6.2TJ_Maxx
Starbucks12+6.1Starbucks
Discover13+6.1Discover
Range Rover14+6.1Range_Rover
JP Morgan Chase15+6JPMorgan_Chase_Co
Crocs16+5.9Crocs
Pluto TV17+5.8Pluto_TV
Credit Karma18+5.7Credit_Karma
Pfizer19+5.7Pfizer
Google Maps20+5.5Google_Maps
HBO Max21+5.4HBO_Max

But when Johnson is identified as a Libertarian, Trump shades it against Clinton, 37 percent to 36 percent.

Brand nameRankScoreMCBI brand
Moderna1+7.6Moderna
Paramount Plus2+7.4Paramount_Plus
Icy Hot3+7Icy_Hot
TikTok4+7TikTok
Peacock5+6.9Peacock
YouTube Shorts6+6.8Youtube_Shorts
Pluto TV7+6.3Pluto_TV
HBO Max8+5.7HBO_Max
Venmo9+5.5Venmo
American Express10+5.4American_Express
Febreze11+5.1Febreze
Universal Orlando12+5Universal_Orlando
Busch Light13+5Busch_Light
vitaminwater14+4.9Vitamin_Water_2
Google Assistant15+4.9Google_Assistant
Chime16+4.5Chime
Pedigree17+4.4Pedigree
Regal Cinemas18+4.4Regal_Cinemas
Apple TV Plus19+4.4AppleTV_Plus
Marlboro20+4.3Marlboro
DSW21+4.3DSW

The national Morning Consult survey polled 2,001 registered voters from June 1-4 for a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points. See the toplines and crosstabs.