Polling Numbers Good News For Dems And Libertarians

Aug 17, 2016

Sean Haugh is among the Libertarian candidates on the ballot this fall. He's a hopeful for U.S. Senate. If his counterparts in the presidential or governor's race can carry 2 percent of the vote, Libertarians will automatically remain on the ballot through 2020.
Credit Carol Jackson / WUNC

Recent political polls indicate Democrats have pulled ahead in several key races while Libertarians have reason to be optimistic heading into the general election.

The North Carolina Libertarian party needs either presidential candidate Gary Johnson or gubernatorial candidate Lon Cecil to carry at least two percent of the vote. If either does so, the Libertarians will automatically be able to place their future nominee on the ballot in 2020.

In a Marist survey of North Carolina adults released last week, Johnson hit 9 percent. That is good news for the former Republican Governor of New Mexico and his new party. In a recent Public Policy Polling survey, Cecil received 4 percent support. Political scientists and strategists say that based on recent history, Libertarians end up with about half of their polling support come Election Day.

Johnson is a former two-term governor, who was well known for his fiscal conservatism and willingness to use a veto. Cecil is a retired engineer who ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2010 against Mel Watt (D-12). The state party is also running Sean Haugh for U.S. Senate. In the nation's most expensive Senate race two years ago, Haugh finished with 3.7 percent of the vote, as Republican Thom Tillis unseated Democrat Kay Hagan at the top of the race.

Voters in the state will have three choices in the races for president, governor and U.S. senator. There are no write-ins. Green Party candidate Jill Stein will not be on the ballot in North Carolina this November.