Obama supporters in Colorado worried about Gary Johnson – “Put out a spark before it grows into a fire”
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When Capitol Report New Mexico talked to Gary Johnson yesterday (Oct. 31), the Libertarian Party presidential candidate mentioned how Obama supporters in the liberal bastion of Boulder, Colo., staged an anti-Johnson rally.
“Some Democrats there came out in protest of me because I guess the pro-war, anti-marijuana college Democrats there think I’m taking votes away from Obama,” Johnson told us. “I view it as a compliment.”That was the first we had heard of the anti-Johnson protest but the left-wing daily newspaper in London, The Guardian, wrote a story today (Nov. 1) with a lot more details:
The president hopes to shore up support in the swing state and neutralise Gary Johnson, who is running for president on the Libertarian party ticket, just days ago after the former New Mexico governor electrified students at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
The maverick Johnson remains barely known to most ordinary Americans but is expected to take votes from Obama – and Mitt Romney – in Colorado on the back of enthusiasm for a separate vote on November 6 over whether to legalise marijuana.
Hundreds packed a university auditorium to hear him speak on Monday night. Dozens who did not fit inside lined the corridors, ears straining to catch the words. All cheered and whooped Johnson’s calls for social tolerance and a radically downsized government.
The story goes on to link to an e-mail from Dan Gould, chair of the Boulder county Democratic party. “I need your help to put out a spark before it grows into a fire,” Gould wrote to activists before Johnson’s visit this past Monday. “He is trying hard to peel student votes away from President Obama around the issue of deregulation of marijuana. With Colorado being so vital and so close at this point, we can’t let that happen.”
It seems like an over-reaction considering that two recent Denver Post polls had Johnson’s support in Colorado at less than 3 percent but on the other hand, 3 percent could prove to be a crucial difference in tight race between Obama and Romney in a state with nine Electoral College votes.
Personally, I’ve long doubted the convention wisdom that Johnson hurts Romney a lot more than Obama. Sure, Johnson’s call for reducing the budget 47 percent across the board appeals to fiscal conservatives but Johnson can also appeal to lefties who are angry at Obama’s foreign policy, his broken promise about shutting down Gitmo, his use of armed drones and his support of the Patriot Act.
But moreover, I think a decent chunk of people who find Johnson appealing are those who would not have voted if the choices were simply between Romney and Obama.
Johnson’s on the ballot in 48 states.
Click here to read today’s story in The Guardian.
And here’s the e-mail sent out by the Boulder Democrats: