Gary Johnson May Win New Mexico, Which Would Keep both Trump and Clinton from Victory
Gary Johnson victory in NM is 'plausible,' and could force Electoral College deadlock
November 8, 2016
Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson has a real shot at winning the State of New Mexico, where he was governor for 8 years. A poll released by the Albuquerque Jounal newspaper shows Johnson receiving 24 percent of the vote.
While this is below the 35% support given Democrat Hillary Clinton, and the 31% saying they will vote for Republican Donald Trump, it is within the realm of possibility that Johnson could pull enough support away from the major party candidates by Election Day to win the States 7 electoral votes.
The website http://www.fivethirtyeight.com and its analyst, Nate Silver, considers such a result plausible. Sunday, Silver tweeted that the new poll makes "plausible" a map that shows New Mexico going to Johnson on Election Day. This could deadlock the Electoral College between Clinton and Trump, who would receive 267 and 266 electoral votes respectively. Silver's map in fact show's that scenario. A total of 270 electoral votes are needed to clinch the election.
But, Silver cautioned, while it's possible, such a result is "not likely" because the FiveThirtyEight model gives Johnson only a 2 to 3 percent chance of winning New Mexico, and about a 0.2 percent change that causes a deadlock.
The poll of 501 likely New Mexico voters, conducted Sept. 27 to 29 by landline and cellphone, has a margin of error of 4.4 percentage points.
It's one of Johnson's best showings yet in any State. The poll boosts Johnson's argument that he his campaign has achieved the necessary 15% threshold necessary to take part in the two two remaining presidential debates.
The United States Electoral College is the institution that elects the President and Vice President of the United States every four years. Citizens of the United States do not directly elect the president or the vice president; instead they elect representatives called "electors", who usually pledge to vote for particular presidential and vice presidential candidates.
Electors are apportioned to each of the 50 states as well as to the District of Columbia (also known as Washington, D.C.). The number of electors in each state is equal to the number of members of Congress to which the state is entitled, while the Twenty-third Amendment grants the District of Columbia the same number of electors as the least populous state, currently three. Therefore, there are currently 538 electors, corresponding to the 435 Representatives and 100 Senators, plus the three additional electors from the District of Columbia. The Constitution bars any federal official, elected or appointed, from being an elector.
Except for Maine and Nebraska, all states have chosen electors on a "winner-take-all" basis since the 1880s. That is, each state has all of its electors pledged to the presidential candidate who wins the most votes in that state. Maine and Nebraska use the "congressional district method", selecting one elector within each congressional district by popular vote and selecting the remaining two electors by a statewide popular vote. Although no elector is required by federal law to honor a pledge, there have been very few occasions when an elector voted contrary to a pledge.
The Twelfth Amendment, in specifying how a president and vice president are elected, requires each elector to cast one vote for president and another vote for vice president.