http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/335785

Op-Ed: Three ways Libertarians control the 2012 and future elections

Posted Oct 29, 2012 by Emma Burge
With only eight days until it comes time to vote in the 2012 presidential election, America’s eyes are focused on Romney and Obama’s final days on the campaign trail.
The most high profile speaker of the day was Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson.
The most high profile speaker of the day was Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson.
While everyone is watching to see who will eventually come out on top, many people are disregarding what is quite possibly the greatest dynamic in this election: the presence of Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. Even though opposition and supporters of Johnson agree overall that he has no chance at winning the election, they also agree that for better or worse he is the one factor that will decide the outcome of the election. Here are three reasons as to why.
1. Gary Johnson is pulling votes from both candidates: With his socially liberal and fiscally conservative platform, Gov. Gary Johnson is appealing to both Democrats and Republicans for different reasons. Now theoretically if Johnson pulls from both candidates then he will not affect the outcome as the votes will come out of each candidate’s base equally. However, Johnson is pulling more votes from one specific candidate, whether it is Obama or Romney, in each state. Based on a recent national poll, when Gary Johnson is added as an option, the winner of the poll completely shifts. This kind of polling fluctuation has been occurring especially in swing states such as Colorado and Florida.
2. The final Third Party Debate will be held on Nov. 5: Fresh off of winning the first Third Party Debate hosted by Free & Equal and moderated by Larry King, Gary Johnson will be participating in the final debate on November 5th, the night before Election Day, with Green Party candidate Jill Stein. The difference with the first debate and this one is huge. The first debate was essentially a low budget, in person conference call held at a random Hilton in Chicago where mostly everyone agreed on various issues being ignored by the two major parties. The final debate will have a higher budget, be broadcast live from a studio in Washington DC, and most importantly will be hosted by RT (Russia Today). With RT hosting, more people will be watching as it will be shown on a major news network, therefore there is a higher chance that voters (especially those undecided) will make a last minute decision to vote third party.
3. Libertarians are not looking to win this election: Look, the Libertarian Party is not looking to win this election; Gary Johnson 2012 even said so in a new television ad. Libertarians are frequently thought of as forward, hopeful thinkers and their hopes for this election do not go against the stereotype. What Gary Johnson and the Libertarian Party is trying to do is gain just five percent of the national vote in order to gain access to millions of federally funded dollars to go towards a campaign in 2016 (all of this is ironically thanks to The FEC Laws, put together by the commission who shut Johnson out of the debates). In addition to the federal funding, the Libertarian Party will also be granted equal ballot access as Republicans and Democrats, thus the Libertarian Party will not have to jump through hoops and court cases to be on the ballot in all fifty states.
Basically Libertarians are looking to make a change for the future of America to defy the current two party system and based on the latest polling numbers, constant US protests, and increasing media attention, the Libertarian Party might just be able to pull that sort of change off.