We all know I laugh at Libertarians and argue with conservatives. In 2012, Libertarians are "most likely to believe untrue things" and conservatives are "most likely to say untrue things." It's a problem, but it's not my problem.
Here is a symposium of who Reason Magazine's contributors are voting for.
Summary: If they're voting, they break for Gary Johnson. (Indeed, Johnson gets only a few more votes than "No one.")
Here is a symposium of who The American Conservative's contributors are voting for.
This one is a bit more diverse, with some endorsing Romney, some endorsing Obama, a few endorsing Johnson, and some doing the whole "I'm not voting thing." There's even a few "write-in for Paul" votes.
This tells me a few things:
1) Support for Romney is tepid, at best. He will no doubt get the "Team Republican" votes, and many right-leaning voters will naturally prefer him to Obama. But I'm getting a very Gore/Kerry loser vibe here, with support but little enthusiasm.
2) Libertarians have a very inflated sense of their own importance. (Shocker, I know, huh?) They've been talking up Gary Johnson for years, all the way back to when he was governor of New Mexico. They wanted him to win the GOP nomination, even though the GOP wouldn't even let him participate in the debates. Now he's on a Presidential ballot and will no doubt garner some votes.
Very few of them....
In 2008, the Libertarian candidate --also a former Republican-- Bob Barr got 523,713 votes. (It was less than half a percentage of the total vote.) Not to sniff, because that's a lot of people, but it's statistically insignificant.
John McCain lodged 59,934,814 votes, literally over a thousand times more votes than the Libertarian candidate.
I suspect Johnson may do marginally better than (the embarrassing) Bob Barr but even if he doubles the 2008 vote, he will still have attracted a little over a million people.
In a country of over 300 million people.
After a months-long election season.
No matter how you cut it, Gary Johnson is not popular, not a viable candidate, not even a viable protest vote. In other words, he's the perfect candidate for a political movement that's also not popular, has no viable governing philosophy, and lives in protest of the 99% of this country who have a different opinion.
Check Gary Johnson's vote totals next week. And then weigh Libertarian commentary accordingly.