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Did Johnson affect Trump or Clinton? A note on the Libertarian vote in the 2016 presidential election

Kurrild-Klitgaard, Peter (2016): Did Johnson affect Trump or Clinton? A note on the Libertarian vote in the 2016 presidential election.

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Abstract

It is widely suspected that the candidates of the US Libertarian Party usually take votes almost exclusively or at least predominantly from Republican Party candidates. A look at almost 200 published 3- and 4-way polls (March-October) in the 2016 US presidential election indicates that Gary Johnson’s candidacy affected both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, did so moderately, and none in particular. When controlling for other factors Clinton’s lead seems to have been negatively affected. This suggests that Libertarian support in 2016 to a large degree has come from voters who otherwise would have split more or less equally between Democrats and Republicans or not have voted at all.

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