Back in May, I speculated that the conventional wisdom that Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson would disproportionately impact Donald Trump was wrong, and that Johnson was instead pulling support from both Trump and Hillary Clinton in almost equal measure.
Fast-forward roughly four months, and it would appear the major candidates are realizing this as well — especially Clinton, whose campaign is now reportedly worried about the effect Johnson may have in a handful of important swing states:
…[A]s national and battleground polls tighten and Democrats’ hand-wringing grows more urgent, operatives both within and allied with Clinton’s political operation who are looking around to explain Trump’s new polling strength are growing increasingly wary of the former New Mexico governor. His appeal with young and libertarian-leaning liberals, they worry, could create a growing headache for them in western states like Nevada, Colorado, and Arizona — if not yet reason to believe he could hand the states to Trump.
Clinton has maintained a steady lead in both New Mexico and Colorado throughout the year, but her strategists in Colorado — once considered a core swing state — have been warning that Johnson could pull from her support there for months. While that hasn’t happened, recent polling shows that Nevada is still a neck-and-neck race: Clinton leads by less than a point there according to the RealClearPolitics average.
“My understanding is that Trump has remained fairly steady and the transition recently has been the Clinton campaign slipping in some of the polls, and where that happens it seems like [Johnson] or ‘none of the above’ is on the rise,” said [former Gov.