A recent NBC News/Quinnipiac poll reveals that more than a quarter  of young voters—many who had supported the presidential bid of Sen. Bernie Sanders—plan to cast their presidential ballots for Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson. Democrats are increasingly nervous that Johnson’s candidacy could pull more voters from Hillary Clinton than from her Republican rival, Donald Trump, especially in key states like Colorado and Wisconsin. While Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein draws mostly progressive voters, Johnson’s support hails from the breadth of the political spectrum, making it more difficult to suss out. However, because he is on the ballot in all 50 states (Stein is not), most pollsters consider his campaign to be a greater threat to Clinton’s chances in some swing states. And because the U.S. uses the electoral college system to determine the outcome of presidential elections, that could matter on November 8, no matter Clinton’s overall support among the general population.
Former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson has emphasized his support for marijuana legalization and touts an anti-war stance in an attempt to lure progressives to his cause. But progressives are likely less aware of his links to the radical right and the Koch brothers, as well as his billionaire-coddling tax policies. AlterNet found that the largest corporate donor to his campaign is a California polluter, and that the pro-Johnson political action committee, Purple PAC, is primarily financed by a member of the radical right involved with efforts to privatize public education.